Severna Park uses team play to capture title

Two-time defending champ upended

No. 2 Severna Park 13 No. 10 Dulaney 9

Girls lacrosse Class 4A-3A

May 24, 2007|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun reporter

All season, Severna Park girls lacrosse coach Carin Peterson stressed balance and teamwork, and her players bought into that philosophy.

Last night, the No. 2 Falcons played a superb team game highlighted by smart shot selection, superior speed and effective re-defending to beat two-time defending champion and No. 10 Dulaney, 13-9, for the state Class 4A-3A championship at UMBC Stadium.

The Falcons avenged an 11-9 loss in last year's final to polish off a 20-0 season for their seventh state title and their first since 2001.

"If you play well and you play well together, you're going to be hard to beat no matter who you are," said Peterson. "It's easy to stop one or two people, but it's hard to stop eight or nine and we've got eight or nine kids with 20-some odd goals."

Last night, Julie Gardner led the way with four goals, including two as the Falcons scored on their first five shots to take a 5-2 lead. But Gardner had plenty of help.

The attack forced a lot of turnovers and frequently kept the Lions from getting out of their defensive end. The Falcons had a speed advantage in the midfield, especially in Sam Farrell, Joanna Kiser and Theresa Zichelli who moved the ball quickly in transition. Defensively, Meredith Newton, Shayna Stearns and Shannon Kennedy led the effort to keep the Lions from ever getting the lead.

Midway through the second half, the Falcons ran their lead to 9-4 on a Hayley Rausch goal. The Lions rallied on back-to-back goals from twins Kate and Kristen Horsman, who combined for seven points in the game.

Gardner and Rausch then scored within a minute to push the Falcons' lead to 11-6 with 10:05 left.

The Lions (15-3) struggled with possession all game long. They had 16 turnovers -- 12 in the second half.

"We didn't have the composure we usually have," said Kristen Horsman. "Today we got frantic with the ball and threw it away. It seemed like every time, our defense would work hard to get the ball back and we would immediately turn it over."

The Lions pulled within 12-9 with 55 seconds left, but Newton took a charge and forced a turnover to seal the perfect season.

"I never had that in my four years here and to go out like that our senior year, it's unbelievable," said Newton, one of eight Falcons seniors. "Doing it with this group of girls, they mean everything to me and our coaches and everything. I'm sad that I have to leave them, but I'm glad I get to leave this way."

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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