No. 2 Severna Park warms up for final with rout of Dulaney 6-0 victory gives Falcons shot at their 11th state title

Class 4A field hockey

November 10, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The passing was crisp, the penalty corners -- plentiful in the first half -- were near precision, and the work in the circle was relentless and often dazzling. Must be Severna Park at Goucher College in the Class 4A state field hockey playoffs.

The No. 2 Falcons wasted little time yesterday afternoon making their reservation for Saturday's state championship game, overwhelming Dulaney from the beginning to come away with a 6-0 victory in the semifinals.

Winners of 10 state championships and five of the last six, the Falcons (17-1) will try to add to those impressive numbers on Saturday when they meet Magruder from Montgomery County in the final. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Goucher.

While the Falcons were having an easy time in their semifinal, Magruder (12-4) needed a sudden-death penalty stroke from Katie Shanahan to get past Quince Orchard after playing to a 1-1 tie through overtime.

The first-half numbers tell the story on how Severna Park easily advanced: 13 unanswered penalty corners, 16 unanswered shots that resulted in a 4-0 lead at the break.

Senior Jess Gaither got the Falcons' scoring started four minutes into the game when she cleanly received a penalty corner from sophomore Nikki Barnes (one goal, three assists) at the top of the circle and blasted a shot past Dulaney keeper Alisa Jordan (14 saves) for her 13th goal of the season.

"We try to get ahead early, that builds us up, gets us going," said Severna Park coach Lil Shelton. "We talk about that all the time. If you can score early, it makes a statement right away and lets people know we're here to play."

Barnes followed with an easy tap on another Gaither shot to make it 2-0 with 20 minutes left in the half. She then set up senior Emily Mooney (two goals) in front for a 3-0 lead before senior midfielder Sara Zuckerman closed out the first-half barrage with a late goal.

"It seems there's been a trend lately in our play that if we have a good warm-up, we come out hard instead of using the first half as kind of our warm-up," said Zuckerman, who has four goals on the season to go along with 11 assists. "We were psyched up. We passed well and, being able to find each other, kept them running."

Senior defender Julie Shank and Mooney added second-half goals as the Falcons posted their 16th shutout of the season.

Shelton was particularly pleased with the balanced attack, the hard work the Falcons displayed in the circle and the fact she was able to use 26 players in the game.

Magruder, coached by Kathleen Mulholland, earned a share of the Class 3A state crown in 1996, tying Fallston, 0-0, before moving up to Class 4A last season.

The Colonels are led by junior Melanie Esders, who has 16 goals and seven assists, with senior Kate Finn (four goals, eight assists) anchoring the midfield.

Pub Date: 11/10/98

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