Severna Park overwhelms Churchill, 2-0 No. 3 Falcons, Westminster again play for state crown

Class 4A field hockey

November 06, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Beth Davis was busy camping out at the right post.

With crafty stickwork, Sara Zuckerman was providing magic along the left side.

And the defense -- Krista Bowerman and company -- came through, as it always seems to.

Severna Park, year after year a regular in state playoffs at Goucher College, was once again right at home in yesterday's Class 4A state semifinal, taking control early against overwhelmed Churchill and claiming a 2-0 win.

The No. 3-ranked Falcons (17-1) will take on top-ranked, undefeated Westminster (16-0) -- shootout winners over Whitman in yesterday's other semifinal -- at 11: 30 a.m. Saturday's state championship game at Goucher.

Last year, Westminster ended Severna Park's string of four straight state titles with a 2-1 overtime win in the final.

Yesterday, the Falcons came out fast while West region champion Churchill -- making its first state tournament appearance in nine years -- looked in awe of the situation.

Davis made the Bulldogs (10-3-3) pay with two goals five minutes apart midway through the first half, both coming from in close along the right side.

"I was just waiting on the post. We like to cross the ball a lot, so I just tried to keep my feet moving and stay ready," said Davis, a junior who now has nine goals and two assists on the season.

Senior Beth Neuberger sent across the pass on Davis' first goal -- coming with 16: 25 left in the half -- and junior Jess Gaither got the assist on the second score. But it was Zuckerman who continually put the pressure on with a dominating effort at left midfield.

Churchill opened the second half more composed and had some chances, but Severna Park's defense was ready.

The Falcons' sophomore goalie, Kim Lawton, made a big save on Cay Miller four minutes into the second half, and senior defender Christine Ballance cleared a shot off the goal line a little later. The Bulldogs' last chance came with 3: 35 left, when Courtney Sindelar, alone along the right side, had a pass from Shannon Danver hop over her stick.

"We knew we had to come out hard," said Severna Park's Bowerman, a senior defender who was steady throughout. "All we knew about them was that they were a very quick team. Christine Ballance and Kim Lawton did a great job. Now, we have to focus on Saturday -- get up and not let down."

Severna Park coach Lil Shelton said her defense's work yesterday will pay dividends Saturday.

"At half, we talked about not letting down, especially against a team like Churchill that hasn't been here before," she said. "With a half behind them, they had an idea of what it's all about, and we kind of laid back. The defense made a good [stand], and that will help us on Saturday."

Churchill's first-year coach Laura Hennessy said experience was the big difference.

"Being at states for the first time -- you can't prepare them for what it's going to be like. And with Severna Park's aura their nine state titles it takes time to see you can play with them. We started to play in the second half and gave them a game."

Pub Date: 11/06/97

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