Gregg, Severna Park win state crown

Longtime coach finally gets title, 1-0, over Dulaney

Class 3A boys soccer

High schools

November 17, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Coach Don Gregg's ship came in last night as his Severna Park Falcons won the Class 3A state championship - his first outright title in 28 seasons of coaching.

The No. 6 Falcons, who overcame some low tides this season, losing three straight games at one point, finished on a high tide by defeating Dulaney, 1-0, and sailing through the boys soccer playoffs with five straight wins.

"Jonathan Winters once said that if your ship doesn't come in, then you have to swim out to meet it. And that's what we did this season," Gregg said.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Saturday's editions of The Sun contained inaccurate information about the Severna Park boys soccer team's win in the Class 3A state title game. First, Simon Groseclose had the assist on J.P. Murphy's game-winning goal for Severna Park. Also, the Falcons finished their season with a 13-5-1 record, and prior to Friday's game, were making their eighth championship appearance. The Sun regrets the errors.

The game-winning goal fittingly was scored by three-year starter J. P. Murphy, who tapped in Ryan Schell's crossing pass with 31:09 left in the first half for his 15th goal of the season.

"I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time," Murphy said. "This is everybody's dream, and I'm just happy the guys had trust in me. Dulaney was a great team and it was a hard-fought, well-played game. We finally got one for Mr. Gregg."

On Murphy's score, Dulaney failed to clear the ball, kicking it off a Falcons player and sending it back toward the goal, where Schell retrieved it. Murphy scored once in every playoff game.

"We clicked at the right time," Murphy said. "I had a great feeling we would win it."

Severna Park goalkeeper Scott McGuire was outstanding, making two terrific saves - one late in the game on a breakaway by Kyle Batton.

"This was the biggest game of my life, McGuire said. "It's an incredible feeling. We've been playing every game like it was our last. And I want to say that our fans have been a big part of our success."

No. 3 Dulaney (14-5-1) had 11 shutouts and allowed only 15 goals in 19 games. It was Class 4A state co-champs in 1999, its only state title win in 10 previous final four appearances.

They had wins over No. 8 Centennial, No. 14 and state 4A finalist Perry Hall, No. 15 Sparrows Point and Class 1A state finalist Pocomoke. They reached the finals with a 3-0 win over Northern-Calvert.

The Lions, whose bus was caught in traffic, causing them to arrive 16 minutes after the scheduled starting time of 7:30, normally start slowly, and last night was no different.

"That had nothing to do with the loss," Lions coach Steve Shaw said. "We didn't mark Murphy tonight enough, and their keeper came up big off his line. They attack in waves and are a very good team."

Severna Park (12-5-1) had eight shutouts and had upset then No. 1 River Hill in the regional semifinals. The Falcons had won one state title (a tie) in 12 final four appearances and seven prior championship game appearances. They reached this year's final by defeating Paint Branch in the semifinals, 4-3, in overtime.

Goals: SP-Murphy. Assist: SP-Schell. Saves: SP-McGuire 9; D-Warner 7. Half: SP, 1-0.

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