TOWSON - The Severna Park Falcons field hockey team made it a habit of beating teams all season.
Heading into yesterday's Class 4A state final with top-seeded Bethesda-Chevy Chase, the second-seeded Falcons boasted a 15-0 record and had given up only five goals.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and the Falcons were not immune, as they dropped the decision, 2-1, at Goucher College.
"If you're going to lose, you might as well lose in the last game," Severna Park coach Lil Shelton said. "And if you're going to get beaten, you want to be beaten by the best."
The Falcons did both.
After jumping out front, 1-0, on a goal from senior forward Tricia Gately, Severna Park was beaten in every phase of the game.
The Barons of Montgomery County (15-1), who knocked off fourth-seeded defending state champion Walter Johnson, 2-1, last Wednesday to get to the final, never forgave the Falcons for taking the lead.
After the initial goal, Bethesda-Chevy Chase came alive, running down nearly every loose ball and refusing to allow the Falcons to penetrate past midfield.
The Barons tied the game 22 minutes and 25 seconds into the contest on a long shot from junior forward Kristen Hurt. BCC sealed the victory less than five minutes later when senior back Emily Kelley found the cage following a shot that bounced off the chest of a Falcon defender.
Once the Barons had the lead, they refused to squander it.
"I think we needed that (the Falcons goal) to fire us up," Barons coach Michael Carroll said. "We had the athletes, and I knew they couldn't keep up with our forwards. They're just too fast."
Shelton concurred: "We just kind of stood around watching the ball, and our defense was sluggish.