Severna Park girls lacrosse coach Carin Peterson stood in front of her second-ranked team at midfield yesterday, imploring the Falcons to wake from a halftime slumber.
It was a peculiar vocal display simply because the host Falcons had dominated Anne Arundel County rival South River in the first 25 minutes.
Even after her defending Class 4A-3A state championship team had come away with a resounding 26-8 victory on senior day, Peterson's displeasure was still apparent.
"We went away from our game plan the second part of the first half," Peterson said of her 14-0 team, which jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the game's first seven minutes. "[The plan] was to keep possession and take what they gave us. [We] were forcing it."
Peterson's motivational talk might have seemed like an overreaction given the team's large lead over the No. 6 Seahawks (12-2), but players said the lashing was warranted.
"We did let them back in the game, and our goal is to shut out opponents," senior midfielder Julie Gardner said. "South River is a good team, and it's a great feeling to win by that much over such a good team."
Gardner, who will play for Virginia next year, scored a team-high six goals, and fellow seniors Hayley Rausch and Allison Behringer each added four.
The Falcons may have seen cracks in their play, but they looked flawless on offense throughout much of the game. Severna Park relentlessly peppered South River goalkeeper Kim Kolarik with shots in the opening minutes. Kolarik, one of the county's stronger keepers, was overmatched by the Falcons' display.
"They have too many weapons," South River coach Julie Norton said. "That was a big thing with just how many people we had to try and stop. It's not like two or three. There were 12, really."
South River generally struggled to score but got three goals from sophomore midfielder Brooke Griffin. Senior midfielder Ali Mattingly added a goal and an assist.
"I don't think the score indicated exactly how good they were," Peterson said. "They're a good team."
Severna Park will put its undefeated season on the line Tuesday when it faces Broadneck in the county championship game.
"Last year was great because we swept them in the regular season, counties and regionals, and I would love to do it again," Gardner said of Broadneck. "We are always rivals and still will be in college, but it's a friendly rivalry."