New year, new coach, new game plan. Same old Severna Park.
Under first-year coach Chuck Seivert, the perennial power Falcons have shunned the defensive philosophy they employed so successfully for years in favor of a more aggressive offensive attack. As visiting Arundel could attest last night, the end result is just as devastating.
Tied at halftime, No. 4-ranked Severna Park got second-half goals by Meg Young and Erin Dubina en route to a 3-1 win over No. 9 Arundel in a critical Anne Arundel League game.
Since opening the season with a loss to Archbishop Spalding, the Falcons have won 12 straight. They also have scored 52 goals, nearly three times as many as they tallied during the same number of games last season.
"When I took over, my goal was to score as many goals as we can and play from end line to end line," said Seivert.
With the victory, Severna Park (12-1 overall, 10-0 in the league) assured itself a date with No. 11-ranked South River in next Tuesday's county championship game. The teams also will meet in the regular-season finale on Thursday.
Yesterday's game looked to be even in the early going. The teams traded goals in the first half, with Severna Park taking a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick by Lauren Mitchell and Arundel pulling even with 7: 26 to play before halftime on Abria Queen's goal off a feed from Rebecca Beardsley.
After making a few adjustments at halftime, however, the Falcons began to take command.
"We switched to a different set-up in the middle of the field in the second half and totally blew them away," said Seivert. "My wings were wide-open all the time, and they didn't make any adjustments on that. That's where all the balls came from -- the outside."
Pushing the ball to the outside more, Severna Park began to put more pressure on the goal, and after several near-misses took a 2-1 lead when Bre Benton crossed in front to Young, who fired a hard shot that deflected off the goalie and into the net with 16: 46 left.
Dubina's breakaway effort four minutes later increased the lead and then the Falcons' defense, led by halfback Meg Miller and fullbacks Lindsey Nauman and Meredith McAlister, kept the Wildcats (10-4, 8-2) at bay.
"The main difference was that I cannot sub for six or seven starters and he can, and eventually they're going to wear us down, said Arundel coach Tom Degner.
"I knew that if we could hold them for a while we'd have a chance, but if they went up by a goal we'd probably have a hard time."
No. 2 Severna Park 1, Arundel 0: Midfielder Jess Gaither scored at 19: 43 of the first half and goalkeeper Kim Lawton turned away 10 shots to lead the Falcons (13-1) over the host Wildcats (10-3-1). Beth Davis assisted on Gaither's goal.
Pub Date: 10/21/98