CATONSVILLE -- With only two seniors on the roster, Severna Park girls lacrosse coach Carin Peterson wondered if youth would prevent the Falcons from attaining a sixth straight Class 4A/3A state championship.
She found the answer yesterday, when her third-seeded team rolled past top-seeded Perry Hall, 19-9, in the final at Catonsville Community College.
When asked before the season if the influx of younger players concerned her, Peterson said, "It does, and it doesn't. They hold their own fate."
Now, the Falcons hold another state championship.
"I knew all along how well we played together," said senior midfielder Nicki Cecere, after posing for a photo with the team's other senior, defender Eva Roes. "I figured we'd have our work cut out for us, but we'd get through."
Peterson said, "They certainly matured well."
Yesterday's game was decided early -- right after Severna Park defeated Dulaney in the semifinals last Friday.
Perry Hall (12-2) had a couple of opportunities to stay in contention early. But Falcons junior keeper Brandee Snyder rebounded from a poor outing against Dulaney to repeatedly deny the Gators, who also hurt their own cause by misfiring when Snyder appeared vulnerable.
"She did an outstanding job," Peterson said of Snyder, who stopped seven shots in the first half and 13 for the game. "She did what was expected of her. There were certain points where they could have come back, and she made the big save."
Severna Park's passing game completely befuddled Perry Hall. Cecere dished to sophomore Erin Wylde for two of the Falcons' first three goals. They hooked up again with 16:38 left in the half, stretching Severna Park's lead to 6-0.
It was 7-0 when Perry Hall finally scored on back-to-back goals from sophomore Karen Bradley. But the Falcons (15-1) came back with five straight goals, the first a free-position shot from junior Gabrielle Cormier, who had just entered the game for junior Liz Warfield.
Cormier scored again with 12:07 remaining in the half when she circled to the front of the net and beat Perry Hall senior keeper Jennifer Glorioso.
Severna Park scored the last three goals of the half to lead, 15-3. Junior Amy Carnaggio passed to junior Stephanie Roberts from behind the net for the first tally, and Cormier assisted on goals from Cecere and sophomore Colleen Gately, respectively, in the last two minutes.
"That's been our thing all year; score first and shut the door on them," Cecere said.
Perry Hall netted two quick goals to open the second half, before the Falcons -- who scored 62 goals in four playoff games -- again took command, and Peterson began substituting heavily.
Wylde scored a game-high four goals. Carnaggio, Roberts (two assists) and Gately each scored three times, Cormier (two assists) and Liz Wilson netted two goals apiece, and Cecere (three assists) and Kathy McCafferty tallied once.
Senior Shelly Zajdel led Perry Hall with three goals. Bradley, JoAnn Binko and Kerri Johnson had two each.
As Peterson made her way to the post-game awards ceremony in front of the bleachers, she was asked if the succession of state championships were becoming old hat at Severna Park.
"If this is old hat," she answered, "I'll take it every time."