With his team scheduled to play three Anne Arundel County 4A League teams on the road this week, Annapolis coach Dan Hart put a note in the Panthers' locker room reminding his players of the task at hand.
"I told them, 'We have three away games this week, and by the end of it, I wanted us to be known as the Road Warriors,' " said Hart.
His 14th-ranked team didn't disappoint him.
After wins over Broadneck and Meade earlier in the week, Annapolis visited No. 13 Severna Park last night and left with a well-executed 9-7 victory.
"This was a big ballgame for us, and my kids came out hard and played with a lot of emotion," said Hart. "We made a lot of good decisions out here tonight, but we're never satisfied and we know that you're only as good as your last game."
The Falcons (5-2) opened the scoring on an unassisted goal by attackman Rob Bates, but the Panthers (5-2) came back with three.
Junior attackman Eric Morgan put Annapolis on the board on a feed from senior Taylor Boone. Chris Harris gave the visitors a 2-1 lead with 5:19 left in the first quarter, and the Panthers went up by two on the first of three goals by senior Scott Regina.
"We just knew what we had to do. We came out to win, and we did," said Regina, who finished the week with 10 goals and three assists. "Last year, they beat us, and it ended up costing us the home-field advantage in the playoffs, so we wanted this one. We knew we had to play big and that's all we did."
Severna Park, which was coming off an emotional 6-5 win over No. 7 Broadneck on Thursday, added an extra-man goal in the waning minutes of the quarter to pull back to within one, and the Falcons tied the game 12 seconds into the second quarter when junior midfielder Mark Frye scored with an assist from junior John Bishop.
Annapolis extended the lead to two on goals by Regina and Travis Scholtz, but Severna Park trailed by one at the half, thanks to an unassisted goal by Sean O'Malley and another from Bates to Frye with 27 seconds left in the half.
O'Malley evened the score with his second goal less than a minute into the second half, sophomore Jon Brianas regained the lead for Annapolis with an assist from Boone.
Annapolis kept the ball down around the crease but couldn't add to its 7-6 lead.
The Panthers' quickness at attack and depth at midfield wore on the Falcons in the fourth quarter. Boone made the hosts pay in transition on a feed from Regina, and Regina rounded out the scoring with his third goal with 6:50 remaining.