CATONSVILLE — Revenge was a definite motivator for Severna Park defender Tina Riley in Saturday's 9-5 Class 4A/3A state championship girls lacrosse victory over top-seeded Chesapeake.
In handing Severna Park a 17-16 regular season overtime loss, the county champion Cougars (14-1) had not only snapped the Falcons' 57-game winning streak, but they forced Riley to absorb a loss in one of the two field sports she plays.
"I had never lost before this year in soccer or lacrosse," said Riley, who also plays basketball but deems more sacred her three seasons with the three-time state champion soccer squad and two seasons playing lacrosse.
In addition, Riley had a score to settle with the Cougars' leading scorer Diane McBee (73 goals, 17 assists), who ripped her for eight goals in the first meeting.
Behind Riley, her twinsister, Tami, goalie Sonya Muhly (17 saves) and defenders Tanya Simmons and Tracy McGarry, the Falcons held the Cougars far below their scoring average of 15 goals per game. McBee and teammate Julie Smith (52 goals, 11 assists) were held to one and two goals respectively andJulie Henne (24, 9) was held to an assist.
The fifth-seeded Falcons, meanwhile, built leads of 3-0 and 5-2 in the first half en route to a 6-3 halftime lead. Holly Roessler (four goals on the day) -- cutas a freshman -- played the past two seasons on the Falcons' junior varsity. She scored a pair of second half goals, and a third by LizzyWarfield helped secure the win.
"I wanted (McBee) in front of me and the goal behind me. I had been having problems with that. But in the (state semifinal) Dulaney game I didn't have any problems," said Riley. "Tami really helped me out with the double-checks."
The victory helped the Falcons (14-1) win their fifth straight state championship and a state-record seventh girls lacrosse title in eight appearances, also a girls lacrosse record. Severna Park had won five state-regional titles before the tournament became an official state championship two years ago.
"Losing to them took the streak off our backand showed this team that it's going to have to work to achieve whatit wanted," said Severna Park coach Carin Peterson. "Sonya Muhly wasunbelievable. She turned back some shots and just discouraged their offense. You could see after their shots didn't go in, that they'd (Cougars) turn around and were down. Their sticks would drop."
With the Falcons' scoring leader Hilary Kuker (67 goals, 22 assists) underheavy defensive pressure, Roessler (41 goals on the year) came to the rescue with her first goal just over a minute into the game to givethe Falcons a 1-0 lead.
It was 3-0 with just under five minutes gone after Kuker (one goal, two assists in the game) scored and Erin Wylde tallied the first of her two first-half goals, but Natalie Buritsch (18 goals, seven assists) and McBee brought the Cougars to within3-2.
The Falcons then countered a Denise Perrone goal with scoresfrom Roessler, Kathy McCafferty and Wylde and established the tempo for the rest of the contest.
"Severna Park just played a suffocating game defensively," said Chesapeake coach Jim Buchan, whose Cougarshad a 19-game winning streak dating back to last season. "They did anice job riding in the midfield, sliding over, double-teaming and taking us away from the things we like to do. The few times we were able to clear the ball, they forced us into taking shots that we didn't want to take."
"(Tina Riley) was just sticking to me and it seemedlike we couldn't catch the ball," said McBee, who is headed for the University of Virginia. "Today, it just seemed like we were missing something. We've played so great all season that I just couldn't be prouder of our team, but they were the better team and they proved it today."