Falcons seize 4A-3A title

Gvozden's 17 saves set stage for dethroning of seven-time champs

Severna Park 7 Dulaney 4

High Schools

Boys Lacrosse


Severna Park senior Mike Gvozden may well go down as Maryland's most celebrated high school boys lacrosse goalie.

Entering last night's Class 4A-3A state title game against rival Dulaney at UMBC Stadium, the Johns Hopkins University-bound senior had anchored the Falcons to four Anne Arundel County titles, four regional championships and a 4A-3A state crown.

Last year, he was named The Sun's Anne Arundel County Player of the Year, an All-Metro pick and the WYNN Award winner for being Maryland's top high school keeper. Only one thing had eluded him - a championship win over the Lions, against whom he was 0-2 in state finals.

But that ended last night before a crowd of more than 4,000, as Gvozden's defensive wizardry and 17 saves set the tone in a 7-4 victory as the No. 8 Falcons (18-2) dethroned the No. 10, seven-time champion Lions (16-4).

Randy Waugh (two goals, two assists), Eric Lusby (one, two), Shane Coughlin (two goals) and Dan Burns (one, one) paced the Falcons, who led 4-0 after the first quarter, 5-1 at halftime and by as much as 7-2 early in the fourth.

Gvozden set up the Falcons' first goal, clearing the ball to his offense after his first stop as a catalyst to Coughlin's conversion of a Burns fast-break pass. After stopping a shot with a minute left to play in an extra-man situation, Gvozden raised his hands and looked skyward, knowing the game was in the bag.

"If I'd have come out of this game and felt like I could have done more, I would have either died or been depressed forever because this game meant so much to me," said Gvozden, an A student and potential psychology major. "Our defense won the game - Porter Johnson, Max Klein, Kevin Zichelli, Shawn Lowman, Mark Priebe. They deserve the credit, not me."

But it was Gvozden who was in the cage as a freshman and as a junior when Dulaney won - by 13-12 and by 14-13 in double overtime - in state title matchups. Gvozden was there again as a sophomore when Severna Park edged Dulaney, 10-9, in a double-overtime semifinal before defeating Westminster for the crown.

"The first few minutes, they had a quick run of goals and we played catch-up after that," said 27th-year Lions coach Gary Schreiber, 60, who has hinted at retirement since defeating Arundel for the crown in 2001. "They just outhustled us."

Geoff Hebert had 13 saves for Dulaney, which leads the overall series 4-2 since 1999, winning four state titles to two for the Falcons. The series has produced three double overtimes, a fourth one-goal game and two others during which each team won by a score of 10-8.


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