Annapolis grabs lead in county race

No. 2 Panthers hold off rally by Severna Park to preserve 8-7 victory

Girls lacrosse

High Schools

April 03, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Annapolis girls lacrosse coach Dave Gehrdes isn't a firm believer in trends.

Perhaps that's why he didn't sound too relaxed after his second-ranked Panthers staved off a furious second-half rally to edge visiting and No. 5 Severna Park, 8-7, in Annapolis last night.

The win helped preserve Annapolis' unblemished record at 4-0 overall and in the county and gave the Panthers the pole position in the race for a county championship.

But Gehrdes didn't give much weight to a pattern showing that winners of four of the past five regular-season meetings between Annapolis and the Falcons eventually captured the Class 4A-3A East region crown.

"That's a nice statistic, but it didn't happen last year," Gehrdes said, alluding to an 8-7 decision that the Panthers won last season before falling to Severna Park in the regional final. "This one is good for bragging rights for about two weeks. Then we have to meet them again, possibly for the county championship."

If Annapolis expects to evict the Falcons as reigning state champs, the Panthers will need a more inspired effort than the one they put forth in the second half last night.

After Annapolis whipped Severna Park in nearly every facet of the game to take a 6-2 lead at the half, Falcons coach Carin Peterson delivered an emotionally-charged pep talk that could be heard across the field.

The lecture worked as Severna Park enjoyed a 4-1 spurt courtesy of a hat trick from senior attacker Kristen Burke and a goal from junior midfielder Laura Anderson to cut the lead to 7-6 with 9:38 left in the game.

After senior attacker Sarah Oliphant needed only 34 seconds to re-establish a two-goal cushion for the Panthers, Falcons senior midfielder Nicki Barnes converted a free-position opportunity with 6:53 left to make it an 8-7 score.

But Annapolis controlled the ensuing draw and chewed up the remaining time to seal the victory.

Oliphant led all scorers with two goals and two assists.

Peterson, whose squad dropped to 2-1 overall and in the county, said she was somewhat pleased to see her team stage a comeback after she "let them have it" at halftime.

"Unfortunately, it was too late," Peterson said. "Annapolis made us play their game. They took us out of sync, and we couldn't get into a rhythm."

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