Hardly anyone on the Severna Park girls lacrosse team thought getting to the Class 4A-3A East Region final would be easy.
And yet, that's essentially what the fifth-ranked Falcons found as the hosts steamrolled No. 11 South River, 12-2, in a regional semifinal at Severna Park last night.
The Falcons (13-1-1), who have won the last two Class 4A-3A state championships, will meet No. 8 Broadneck tomorrow. The Bruins defeated Arundel, 14-6.
"I thought it would be a lot harder because they wanted to beat us after we beat them," Severna Park senior goalkeeper Brooke Shinaberry said of the Falcons' 12-3 win against the same Seahawks 11 days ago.
"We won convincingly last time," said senior midfielder Kate Hickman. "We wanted to put it in stone that we're here to go places."
How dominant was Severna Park? The Falcons took 15 more shots (29-14) than their opponent, controlled five more draws (10-5), and owned a 10-0 lead with 12 minutes left in the game.
But Severna Park coach Carin Peterson wasn't convinced that her team had overwhelmed South River.
"I don't think the score was indicative of the game," she said. "They have good players with a lot of talent. ... It was a lot closer than it sounds."
Hickman registered a game-high three goals and two assists, but the stars of the game were Shinaberry and her defense of seniors Lily Jefferds, Kaitlin Hancock, Ashley Puckett and Christine West.
Shinaberry (10 saves) and the defense contained a Seahawks offense that had been scoring 15 goals a game before yesterday.
South River (11-3) received a stirring effort from sophomore goalie Jen Heup, who registered 14 saves, but last season's Class 3A-2A state finalists were handcuffed by their inability to hold onto the ball.
"The bottom line is, you can't make mistakes against a well-trained team," Seahawks coach Jen McNemar said. "The groundballs were key. They were animals when it came to getting the groundballs."