Severna Park makes it three straight

Falcons top Whitman, 2-1, for 12th overall state title

Field hockey championships

High schools

November 14, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

This time, Severna Park's seemingly annual celebration at Goucher College erupted on the defensive side of the field.

That was appropriate, considering the defense spent a lot of yesterday capably protecting one-goal leads against a Walt Whitman team that was able to stay on even terms with the No. 2 Falcons for most of the game.

Two goals from senior standout Erin Shaklee -- one in each half -- proved enough for the Falcons, who withstood another challenge to come away with another Class 4A state championship, 2-1, over the Vikings from Montgomery County.

The Severna Park numbers -- 12 state titles, seven of the past eight and three straight -- are staggering. And while other teams may feel fortunate to earn a trip to states at Goucher, the difference with the Falcons (18-2) is they expect to be playing there every November.

"I think it starts with our tradition," said Shaklee, whose 45 points (23 goals, 22 assists) set a single-season record at Severna Park.

"We expect to get here and bring the mentality that we're going to win. And we just work so hard all season to get here."

In Wednesday's 4-1 semifinal win over Quince Orchard, the Falcons' offense took center stage with four first-half goals -- including two in the first four minutes.

Yesterday was a chance for the defensive unit -- Kelly Bowerman, Krista Fisher, Jenn Zinck, sweeper Emily Higgs and goalie Kim Lawton -- to make their contribution, holding on to a 1-0 lead for much of the first half, then shutting the Vikings down in the last 14 minutes after they had just cut a two-goal lead in half.

"This brought the whole team together. The offense and defense both had a chance to show what we had. I really feel proud about this win because it wasn't like a 5-0 win -- we all really had to work for it," said Higgs, the only returning regular on defense from last season.

Shaklee gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead when she redirected a shot from Bowerman just 6: 20 into the first half.

"Erin just knows where the goal is. A lot of players see a shot going on goal and stand there and watch it. She doesn't. She pursues it until it goes in," Severna Park coach Lil Shelton said.

In the second half, when the Falcons were awarded a penalty stroke after a Whitman stick foul from behind took place inside the scoring circle, Shelton didn't think twice about sending Shaklee to provide what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

"I got the other two I've taken this season. It's kind of a mental thing where you have to tell yourself you're going to do it," said Shaklee, who shot to the left side to finish off the chance.

Whitman, making its second state final appearance, cut the lead to 2-1 when Liza Gorman deflected in a shot from Kate Gannon, but the Falcons' defense was able to regroup to preserve the win.

"It's not one outstanding player out there. It's the entire unit of those four girls plus Kim [Lawton] directing them," said Severna Park assistant Sue Behringer, who is in charge of a Falcons' defense that posted 10 shutouts this season.

"We used our power drives to get it outside to the wings so they can turn it back in to Erin Shaklee and put the ball in the cage."

Class 3A

No. 7 Fallston 1, No. 8 Long Reach 0: Amanda Novak's goal, off an assist from Kelly Biedermann, with 2: 45 left in the first half was all offense the Cougars needed to defend their state title at Goucher College.

Fallson (15-3) has earned eight titles in 11 state tournament appearances. And coach Alice Puckett is second only to Severna Park's Lilian Shelton (12) in championship victories.

Fallston had lost to Long Reach, 1-0, Sept. 14, despite outplaying the Lightning (13-3-2) in the second half.

Pub Date: 11/14/99

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