Falcons romp, 4-1, return to title game

Severna Park strikes twice in first 4 minutes, to play Walt Whitman

Field hockey semifinals

November 11, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The Severna Park Falcons stated their case early yesterday at Goucher College -- the one about being the defending Class 4A state field hockey champions, winners of six of the last seven titles and 11 overall.

Moving forward from the onset, the No. 2-ranked Falcons overwhelmed Quince Orchard, a relative newcomer to state play, and advanced to the championship game with a comfortable semifinal win, 4-1.

Severna Park (17-2) returns to Goucher College at 11: 30 a.m. Saturday to take on Bethesda's Walt Whitman -- 1-0 penalty-stroke winners over Westminster in yesterday's other Class 4A semifinal.

Scoring combinations have been a vital part of the Falcons' success over the years, and this fall's version featuring senior center forward Erin Shaklee (school-record 21 goals and 22 assists) and junior left wing Nicki Barnes (21 goals, 12 assists) is one of their most dangerous ever.

Just 1: 34 into play yesterday, Barnes scored from in front off a feed from Shaklee. Less than two minutes later, it was Shaklee's turn finishing off a shot from Barnes. Both would score again before the end of the half.

"We just got out there and started putting them in early, which was nice, because the past couple of games have been close," said Barnes. "One of the reasons we came out so strong was not being sure about our opponent. I was surprised at first. Then we just got on a roll."

The Cougars (13-3-1) never had a chance to settle in, stunned to see the Falcons register four goals in the first half after allowing just eight in their first 16 games.

"Severna Park just knows how to win," said Quince Orchard coach Jenna Siegel, whose team from Gaithersburg made its first playoff appearance last fall. "I thought we matched up with them pretty well athletically, but we just aren't used to the intensity level when you get here.

"Severna Park was just the better team, and they are used to playing at this level."

The Falcons were faster to the ball and more productive with their passes. Senior goalie Kim Lawton (eight saves) was solid and got solid defense and midfield support.

Inside the scoring circle, Shaklee and Barnes were not to be denied in the take-charge first half.

"We tell each other where we are and are always trying to back up each other's shot," said Barnes.

Added Shaklee: "She just always seems to be there. I don't even have to look anymore."

Saturday's final against Whitman is a rematch of the 1995 championship game, won by Severna Park.

The Vikings improved to 14-4 with yesterday's win over Westminster. One of their losses was to Quince Orchard, 2-1 in overtime.

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