Some things never change, and the Anne Arundel County field hockey championship is one of them.
Severna Park won its 12th consecutive county championship game last night, 4-2, at South River. Since county finals began in all sports 12 years ago, field hockey is the only sport in which the same team has won every year.
And the top-ranked Falcons (12-0-1) notched their 12th win as four players each scored a goal for veteran coach Lil Shelton.
"We've got balance," said junior Emilee West, who started the scoring with her team-leading 12th goal. "Our midfielders carry it up for us and one of the forwards is always there, not just me or just one person. It's an equal effort."
The Falcons were coming off a week in which they tied No. 6 Broadneck, 1-1, and nipped No. 13 Arundel, 1-0.
"I think they played beautifully tonight, they really did," said Shelton, who says her 12 seniors are the best group she has had in her 31 years.
"They came up. Sometimes, you have to have a bump in the road. I think the tie made them realize they are not invincible. It can happen."
It was the fifth straight loss in the final for South River and the sixth in 12 years. South River lost, 1-0, to the Falcons in the regular season.
No. 5 South River (12-3) opened the game with Abigail McNair's 16th goal in the first 2 1/2 minutes. The Falcons answered with three goals off fast breaks before the half ended.
"I was a little concerned because I knew that South River was definitely out to get us," West said. "We knew we would have to work our butts off because they wanted it just as bad, if not more."
West tied it at 1, and Kaylee Pohlmeyer, on a cross from Lauren Crum, gave Severna Park a 2-1 lead with 18 minutes left in the first half.
Julie Gardner's goal made it 3-1 with 9:01 left before the break.
"We pushed up a little bit too much offensively, and we collapsed on defense," Seahawks coach Katie Corcoran said. "When they had those fast breaks, and got those good shots, we didn't have anyone back. We started out great and had those breakdowns."
The Seahawks started early again in the second half when Molly Gregoire's goal made it 3-2 in the first six minutes.
Senior Amanda Himmelheber then gave the Falcons some breathing room with a goal off a corner with 15 minutes left.