Severna Park faces challenge from 7th-ranked South River

Falcons goalie applauds defense for 9 shutouts


October 16, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Senior Michelle Swartz is more than halfway to her goal.

Swartz, the starting goalkeeper for the top-ranked Severna Park field hockey team, had set a 15-shutout campaign as her mission before the start of the season.

So far, Swartz has registered nine shutouts - consecutively. The last time an opponent slipped a goal past Swartz was Sept. 7 when Severn sophomore attack Emily Mason scored in a 2-1 Severna Park win.

Swartz, who helped the Falcons capture their 13th state and 22nd county championships last year, shares much of her success with her defense of seniors Kelli Bowerman, Liz Kasper and Kristina Kral and sophomore Stacey Messick.

"Our biggest goal as a defense is not to let our opponents get a shot off," Swartz said. "Personally, my job is to vocalize to my defense where to cut off the passing lanes."

Bowerman said the defense huddles before every contest with one aim in mind.

"We always say that today's going to be a shutout," she said. "We go game-to-game believing that it's going to be a shutout."

Severna Park (11-0 overall and 10-0 in the county), which has outscored its opponents, 59-2, will perhaps meet its stiffest challenge in No. 7 South River (8-1-1 overall and in the county) at 5:15 p.m. today in Severna Park.

The Seahawks, who claimed the Class 3A state title last season and upended the Falcons during the regular season last year, have enjoyed a 45-3 margin in goals scored and goals allowed.

Senior goalie Kristin Cousin, who registered 13 shutouts last season, owns seven this year and can rely on juniors Amanda Dorsey and Bryana Keenan and sophomore Frannie Sullivan to block a shot or two and avoid committing fouls in the circle.

"I think our defense is pretty good about not getting called for fouls and giving up corners," said South River coach Laura Gerrior.

A South River win would guarantee the Seahawks a reserved spot against Severna Park in the county championship game Thursday at 4 p.m. at Meade.

A South River loss would open the door for either Chesapeake or Broadneck to play Severna Park in the county championship game.

All in the family

If the coaches for the St. Mary's and Notre Dame Prep field hockey teams seem unusually close, it's because they are.

Saints coach Heidi Willett had the unique task Friday of trying to defeat a Notre Dame Prep squad guided by her daughter, Erin.

Both mother and daughter are varsity coaches in their first season and played against each other as coaches of their respective junior varsity teams last season.

Erin Willett, who exchanged bouquets with her mother before Friday's game, said she always looks forward to playing against her mother.

"It's just a great moment to look over and see her there," said Erin Willett, a junior at Towson who graduated from St. Mary's in 1999. "Everything I do is reflective of her."

Erin Willett's Blazers squad won Friday, 3-1, but Heidi Willett said she wasn't terribly upset about the loss.

"It's not quite a sting when she beats you," Heidi Willett said. "It's kind of wild when you shake hands before the game and she says, `Good luck, mommy.' "

Anderson picks Villanova

St. Mary's senior striker Kristin Anderson has decided to continue her soccer career at Villanova next fall.

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