S. River hoping to repeat field hockey season of '00

SIDELINES

High Schools

October 09, 2003|By PAT O'MALLEY

The South River field hockey team's upset of top-ranked Severna Park on Tuesday night was a vivid example of the enthusiasm and teamwork that epitomizes the best of high school sports.

Back in 2000, South River upset the Falcons by the identical score of 3-2, only that game was played in the rain and was settled in overtime on the Seahawks' auxiliary field. The game Tuesday was under the lights in the school's stadium on a glorious fall evening.

The teams played hard but clean with no cheap shots, and each team was gracious during the post-game handshake. The mutual respect was obvious as players exchanged congratulations.

"Oh, my God, it's like the world. This is like the best thing ever," said an exuberant Jen May when asked what the win over the Falcons (10-1 overall, 8-1 county) meant to the unranked Seahawks (10-0, 9-0).

Frannie Sullivan, May's teammate, added, "We want to win states so bad and repeat the history of 2000. We're on our way."

May and Sullivan were freshmen on the 2000 team and have never forgotten that big win and how the two rivals each went on to win a state championship that year, South River in Class 3A and Severna Park in 4A. The classifications for the two schools have since been reversed.

"I remember that game very well," said Sullivan, who has orally committed to Ohio University to play lacrosse.

"It was the first time we had beaten Severna Park. It felt so good because everyone worked so hard. It was just awesome, just like tonight. We were really confident [Tuesday]."

The South River upset in 2000 ended the Falcons' 114-game winning streak against Anne Arundel County opposition. Until that day, the Falcons hadn't lost since Broadneck beat them, 1-0, in 1989.

South River coach Laura Gerrior-Hoffer was a player on that Bruins team. She guided the Hawks to the 2000 streak-buster and Tuesday ended a 47-game streak by the Falcons over county teams.

Severna Park started another streak right after the 2000 loss to South River, reeling off 12 in a row, including the county championship game and three regional playoff games.

"This is the beginning for us going to states," said Sullivan, who scored against a Falcons team that came into the game having outscored its foes 57-2. "We're going all the way."

If South River wins at No. 13 Broadneck (9-1, 8-1) on Tuesday, Severna Park's opponent in the county championship game, (providing the Falcons win their final two against Annapolis and Arundel) would be South River, just as in 2000.

Sideliners

Northeast boys soccer midfielder C.J. Twombly has visited Delaware, but has also drawn interest from New Hampshire, Drexel, Maine, Vermont and James Madison. ... Severna Park junior Abbi Horn, who had a goal and an assist in the field hockey loss to South River, was selected to play on the Junior Olympic team and led the team to a second-place finish. She is one of several Falcons who play in the National Futures program. She also led her under-16 team to a national title in Virginia Beach this year. ...

Apparently another standout Wetzel is on the way at Archbishop Spalding. Rob Wetzel, the younger brother of former two-time county cross country Runner of the Year Jay Wetzel, is making his mark on the Cavaliers' JV. ... A retirement party for Severna Park's 30th-year boys soccer coach, Don Gregg, who has a county-record 314 wins, is set for Dec. 6 at the Severna Park Elks Club from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Former players, who are also invited to Saturday's 2 p.m. alumni game, can get more information by calling Barbara Gregg at 410-266-8326, evenings after 6.

Have a note? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499 or send e-mail to patomalleysports@aol.com.

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