S. River, Sev. Park seek county berth

Girls will battle tonight for spot against Broadneck in championship game


High Schools

May 03, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

There's much more at stake than just a win when the No. 11 South River girls lacrosse team visits No. 10 Severna Park today.

Not only will the 5:15 p.m. contest mark the regular-season finale for both teams, but the winner will advance to the county championship game Tuesday at South River to meet eighth-ranked Broadneck.

The Bruins, who are 10-2 overall and 10-0 in the county, clinched a spot in the championship game by defeating both Severna Park and South River last week.

With regard to tonight's showdown, the host Falcons have played for the title every year since 1996. Winner of the crown in 1997, 1999 and 2000, Severna Park (9-1-1 overall, 9-1 county) may have history on its side.

"It's always a goal of ours," Falcons coach Carin Peterson said of reaching the championship game. "But I'm sure [South River wants] to be in it as badly as we do. I think both South River and Severna Park have a sense of urgency to get into the county championship game."

Powered by a pair of senior midfielders in Laura Anderson and Kate Hickman, Severna Park - which has won the last two Class 4A-3A state titles - is scoring 21.2 goals a contest. The Falcons' defense has been just as sturdy, giving up just four goals a game.

The visiting Seahawks have been only slightly less successful than tonight's opponent. Senior midfielder Evelyn Long and sophomore attack Frannie Sullivan have paced South River's offense to 15.7 goals a contest.

On the flip side, opponents are averaging just 4.7 goals a game against the Seahawks' defense.

South River has championship experience after losing to Mount Hebron in the Class 3A-2A state final last season. But the Seahawks would be playing in their first county title game if they knock off Severna Park.

"There's a lot to be proven in this county," said South River coach Kim McNemar. "It's always the same schools that win the big games. It would be a great morale booster if we could be playing for the county championship."

Annapolis Christian sweep

Broadneck isn't the only girls lacrosse team with an undefeated conference record.

With a 16-3 rout of the Fields School, Annapolis Area Christian completed an unblemished sweep through the Capitol Area Lacrosse League.

By virtue of their 7-0 conference mark, the Eagles (10-3 overall) earned the top seed in the league tournament. They will meet No. 8 seed Barrie School at home on Monday at 4:30 p.m.

With only three players with significant varsity experience returning from last season, Annapolis Area Christian coach Paul Brophy said he is the most surprised at his team's success this season.

"I was thinking we'd be .500 in the league and maybe .500 overall," Brophy said. "But they have come together a lot quicker than I expected."

The turning point of the year may have been April 10, when reigning league champion Sandy Springs Friends visited Annapolis. The Eagles routed the champions, 13-5.

"I think I prepared them to lose," Brophy said. "But they just came out and said, `Look, we're going to prove this guy wrong.' "

Contributions have been coming from all angles. Offensively, Annapolis Area Christian is led by a foursome of 30-plus point scorers in junior midfielder Megan Campbell (36 goals, 12 assists), sophomore midfielder Bethany Mahaffey (25, 17), freshman center Cia Pantelides (25, 10) and freshman attack Ashley Valentine (21, 14).

The Eagles' defense has been anchored by South River transfer and senior Lindsey West and senior goalkeeper Allie Jozwik, whom Brophy considered replacing before the season began.

Still, Brophy isn't entirely convinced that Annapolis Area Christian, which last won the tournament crown two years ago and lost in the finals twice, can bring home the gold.

"I still think Sandy Spring would have the ability to beat us," he said. "Of course, nobody has gotten more than seven goals on us, but I'm not comfortable with that. We still have to play well."

Softball standings

It's no mystery that top-ranked Chesapeake is one of the two teams slated to compete in the county championship softball game at Randazzo Park Wednesday.

The bigger question is: Who will the Cougars (17-1 overall and 14-0 in the county) meet?

No. 5 North County, No. 6 Glen Burnie and No. 11 Severna Park are tied for second place in the county standings with identical 10-4 league records. But because the lower-ranked Falcons (12-6 overall) have dropped regular-season meetings to North County and Glen Burnie, they may be on the outside looking in.

If the Knights (14-4 overall) and the Gophers (12-5) win their respective games today against Southern and South River, North County is slated to play host to Glen Burnie on Monday at 4 p.m.

That would set up what essentially could be termed as a one-game playoff for the second and final championship berth.

In their only meeting this season, the Knights were victorious, winning 3-2 on April 10.

Severna Park, which fell to Northeast in last year's title game, still has a chance to advance to the championship game for the second consecutive year.

The Falcons have to defeat No. 15 Northeast today and South River Monday and hope that North County and Glen Burnie drop one of the two games left on their schedules.

Only two other teams have above-.500 county marks. Northeast is 9-5 in the county (12-6 overall), while surprising Old Mill - which boasts upset wins against North County, Severna Park and Northeast - is 8-6 in the league (8-6 overall).

Old Mill, Arundel reset

Yesterday's No. 2 Old Mill (14-4 overall) at No. 4 Arundel (13-5) rained-out baseball game has been rescheduled for 2 p.m. today. Old Mill leads the county league with an 11-3 record. No. 3 Severna Park (12-5) follows at 10-3 while Arundel, No. 7 Broadneck (13-5) and Glen Burnie (11-7) are all 10-4. The top two teams will play in Wednesday's 7 p.m. county championship game at Joe Cannon Stadium.

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