ESSEX — Having her team seeded in the middle of the pack of the state tournament doesn't concern Severna Park girls lacrosse coach Carin Petersonin the least.
Although the second-year mentor won't admit it, sheknows that her squad doesn't have to feel half of the pressure it usually does to win the 4A-3A state crown.
Yesterday, the four-time defending state champs used their vaunted passing game, a six-goal, one-assist performance from senior Hillary Kuker and a 6-1 run in the second half to beat top-seeded Dulaney of Baltimore County, 14-6.
The state semifinal victory earns the Falcons a spot in this Saturday's championship game at Catonsville Community College.
"I'm very happy about the seedings," said Peterson of her fifth-seeded club. "Nobody thought that Severna Park would getthis far. We only had three players coming back from last year. But everyone forgets that we have an excellent JV and a great feeder system to draw from. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Damned goodrebuilding year, huh?"
Forty-eight seconds into the second half, Toni Maranto (two goals) gathered in a high pass from Please see FALCONS, Page 16FALCONSContinued from Page 15Jan Liszewski to bring the Lions (12-2) within three at 8-5.
But in the next 10 minutes, the Falcons turned a relatively close game into a rout. Less than 20 seconds after Liszewski's goal, Amy Carnaggio scored on an assist from Nikki Cecere, giving Severna Park (13-1) a 9-5 cushion.
The winners scored on four straight occasions in the next eight minutes to put the game out of reach. Kuker led the second-half charge by firing threeconsecutive goals on two loose balls and a free-position shot, whilethe defense constantly pressed the Lions into mistakes.
The Falcons outshot their opponents, 38-18.
During the game's early stages,Dulaney looked as though it would give the Falcons all they could handle and then some, as Amy Lutrell's backhanded effort enabled the Lions to stake a 1-0 lead just 29 seconds into the contest.
Three minutes later, Stephanie Roberts (two goals) knotted the game at one off of an assist from Holly Roessler. Fourteen seconds later, Dulaney took its last lead on a tally by Krissy Busse (10 goals against Parkville in last Friday's quarterfinals).
"I was very pleased with the way we started out," said Dulaney coach Mary Ann Sattler. "But the heat got to us early. But you have to give Severna Park credit. They have an aggressive team, and they stayed with their passing game. We tried using ours, but it just didn't work."
Eight minutes into the opening stanza, Liszewski marched down the gut of the Falcons' defenseto force a 3-3 tie. Kuker then hammered in two goals in the next sixminutes, while teammate Lizzy Warfield (three goals) added one,increasing the victors' lead to 6-3.
Maranto's second score at 22:35 closed the gap at 6-4, before Warfield countered with two goals just before the end of the half, giving the Falcons a 8-4 halftime lead.