Severna Park races past Centennial, 14-7

11th-ranked Falcons shred Eagles' tough defense

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

April 13, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Severna Park entered last night's game with visiting 10th-ranked Centennial planning to run a patient half-field offense, working the ball around the crease to find an opening.

Nearly four minutes in, however, that strategy was scrapped.

That's when midfielder Mitch Belisle easily beat his defender for the 11th-ranked Falcons' first goal. Coach Brien McMurray then gave the Falcons the green light to challenge Centennial's defenders, leading to a 14-7 rout of the defending Howard County and 2A-1A state champ.

"We were going to run our normal plays, but once we saw we could take their middies, we decided to invert," said Belisle, who finished with four goals and an assist. "Then we just kept beating their defenders. We were surprised it was that easy, but we also played up to our potential."

It was 2-0 after one period, as Belisle and Matt Hartman slam-dunked shots past Centennial keeper Mark Nakasone (11 saves), losing their defenders from behind the goal. In the second period, the Falcons (7-0) scored six goals on 11 shots - three of which Nakasone stopped. Severna Park led 8-1 at halftime.

Attackmen Bobby Zichelli (three goals, two assists), Ben Hunt (two goals , one assist) and Blake Best (one goal, one assist) contributed, as did midfielder Jeff Hoffman (two goals, one assist).

"We got down and played poor six-on-six defense," said Centennial coach Mike Siegert, whose Eagles had allowed only one previous team - Broadneck in a 12-11 victory - to score in double digits. "Four of their [Falcons'] first six goals were six-on-six where they just beat our guys."

Centennial (5-2), whose previous loss was 6-4 to fifth-ranked McDonogh, had scored 85 goals in six games. Returning second-team All-Metro attackman Mike Down, attackman Brennan Dougherty, attackman Sean Dougherty and midfielders Pat Davis and Evan Calvert scored 186 goals last year.

But the high-flying Eagles were brought to Earth by defenders Jake Baxter (6 feet 3, 195 pounds), Tommy Zichelli (6-4, 185) and A.J. Kestler (6-5, 230), who, respectively, guarded smaller rivals Sean (one goal) and Brennan Dougherty (four goals) and Down (two goals). Mike Rossbach and Spencer Reid rotated on Calvert (two assists).

"We just contained them, backside, and made sure help was there if someone got beat," Baxter said. "It was more positioning than trying to take the ball away, then we left the rest up to our goalie."

Falcons keeper Mike Gvozden (14 saves), a freshman, set the tone early. He thwarted Down four times in the first period and stopped five of seven Centennial shots in the final period.

Centennial was within 8-4 after a three-goal run with 8:09 left in the third period. But 19 seconds later, Belisle started a 5-2 run for a 13-6 lead entering the fourth.

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