Severna Park wins state crown

Rausch, Pohlmeyer score goals as Falcons claim fourth championship in five years

Severna Park 2 Quince Orchard 0

Field Hockey Class 4A

November 13, 2007|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN REPORTER

The only season that counted last night for Severna Park's second-ranked field hockey team was the postseason.

Forget about the regular season. It wasn't as successful as it usually is for the Falcons, but the second season sure was. Severna Park claimed its 17th state title with a 2-0 victory over defending champion Quince Orchard in the Class 4A final at South River.

Hayley Rausch scored the game-winner just after halftime, and Casey Pohlmeyer sealed the win in the waning minutes, giving the Falcons their fourth state championship in five years. Last season, they won the Class 3A title before moving back up to Class 4A, where they have won 14 of their crowns.

For the first time since the early 1980s, the Falcons (16-3) lost three games during the regular season, but they returned to their winning ways in the playoffs. They turned the tables on two Anne Arundel County rivals - then-No. 1 Broadneck and then-No. 2 South River - before dispatching No. 7 Westminster in the state semifinals and Quince Orchard last night.

"It's an awesome way to end the season," midfielder Allison Behringer said. "I'd say this year is better, just because we've been through so much. I feel like this has been our hardest road to states, our hardest playoffs ever, and that makes this victory that much better."

Behringer started the play that resulted in Rausch's goal, sending the ball to Rausch for a give-and-go with Lauren Crum. Rausch took the pass from Crum on the left side, sending a reverse stick shot past Cougars goalie Katie Giles 1:19 into the second half.

"I just had the ball, and I looked up at the cage," Rausch said. "I saw an opening, and I hit it in."

After that, Falcons defenders Julie Gardner, Sammi Kiser, Casey Kriebel and Kendall Pittinger held tight and blocked four shots through several Cougars surges. The Cougars (14-4) had four penalty corners in the stretch. Gardner cleared one shot away from the goal line, and Kiser blocked another drive later to preserve the Falcons' 13th shutout this season.

Pohlmeyer added the insurance goal with 4:21 to go on a strong individual effort.

As the Falcons celebrated, coach Lil Shelton held tight to the state championship plaque.

"I told everybody, we're the comeback kids," said Shelton, who polished off her 32nd season with her 479th career win.

"I think we got counted out, because everybody in the county said: `They've lost three games. They're not going to do anything.' Then we got it together and said: `Yes, we are.' "

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