Severna Park confounds Annapolis in 7-3 victory Falcons' defense allows just two second-half shots

Girls lacrosse

April 19, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Severna Park's Dana Cappello drew the tough defensive assignment last night -- try to contain Annapolis ace Kelly Dirks.

Dirks, a junior All-Metro attacker, entered the game with 37 goals, averaging four per game. But the Panthers relied on her a little too much last night.

On the other hand, Cappello had plenty of help from her teammates and held Dirks to just two goals, both on free #F positions. The No. 7 Falcons' precision-passing attack did the rest as the hosts defeated No. 6 Annapolis, 7-3.

The victory gives the Falcons (8-1) the edge in the Anne Arundel South Division, boosting them to 2-0 while the Panthers (8-2) drop to 1-1. Barring a phenomenal upset, the Falcons should win the division and play for the county title.

The Falcons' team defense, led by Cappello, Julie Shank and Meg Miller, managed to contain Dirks and still double the ball. They were so dominant that the Panthers scored only on free positions. In the second half, Annapolis managed just two shots.

Cappello set the tone with her job on Dirks.

"She's the kind of player that if you make a mistake, she'll take advantage of it," said Capello. "I just tried to stay tight on her and not let her get the ball or get open. We had a sliding defense that helped me out a lot. It wasn't just a one-on-one in there, it was like a four-on-one."

With Dirks pretty well in check, no one else picked up the slack for the Panthers.

"They did a nice job, but we didn't move the ball very well," said Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes. "We tried to force it. We have plenty of other players who can pass and who can catch, but we kept looking to Kelly."

Dirks scored the first goal of the game, but the collapsing Falcons' defense checked the ball away from the Panthers attack twice sparking transition goals in the first 10 minutes.

Ericka Hergenroeder, who finished with two goals and an assist, Jess Gaither and Amy Noble gave the Falcons a quick 3-1 lead.

Brooke Wagner cut the margin to 3-2 with a free-position goal, but Hergenroeder answered with 42 seconds left in the half when Gaither fed her off a free position.

Cappello carried the defensive edge into the second half with a knock down that Ashley Evans converted on the break in just 24 seconds.

Goals by Jess Mundt and Shank boosted the lead to 7-2 with 14: 41 remaining.

"The thing I like to boast about is teamwork," said Falcons coach Carin Peterson. "If someone has a bad day, there's going to be someone else there to help you out. Offense, defense, passing, everything -- they're very good at what they do."

The Falcons know they likely will face the Panthers again in the regional playoffs. Defending state Class 3A/4A champ Annapolis has won the last three regional meetings -- twice after losing to the Falcons during the regular season.

Pub Date: 4/19/97

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