It sounded like New Year's Eve in Times Square, as players and fans blew noisemakers and cheered for Severna Park coach Lil Shelton's 500th career victory Tuesday night.
The 9-0 win over Annapolis was barely in the books when members of her No. 3 Falcons unfurled the banner congratulating her. Others immediately swarmed around her, spraying her with silly string, draping her in a dark blue cape with "500" written on it and then piling bouquet after bouquet into her arms while cheering and blowing whistles.
"I'm overwhelmed," said Shelton, who started the Severna Park field hockey program in 1975 and has led the Falcons to 18 state titles. "And I'm excited because we played so well. We were really good tonight."
Junior forward Madeline Ross got the scoring started just 1:29 into the game off a corner play, one of seven for the Falcons. And her teammates just kept it going.
Ali Furton, Maggie Egan and Kendyl Gardner each had two goals. Casey Pohlmeyer scored on a penalty stroke, and Jen Wilson contributed a goal.
Annapolis goalie Sophia Openshaw made 32 saves but couldn't withstand the waves of attacking Falcons, and the Panthers saw their record drop to 1-1.
"It's a really great night for Coach Shelton," Annapolis coach Angela Carpita said. "And she deserves it."
Severna Park's record improved to 4-1.
"This is very, very exciting," said Furton, a senior midfielder whose goals made it 2-0 and 3-0. "Ms. Shelton is an awesome coach, and it's so much fun to play for her, a ton of fun. And tonight's game was definitely a team effort."
Said Pohlmeyer: "We didn't want to jinx this, but we had it planned, with the banner and the things we knew she'd like. She's worked so hard to make us a great team."
From the beginning, Shelton has said her victories are all about her players. And Tuesday night, she still insisted it was about them.
"Look around you," she said. "It's all them. The respect and admiration they have for achievement."
As she talked, senior midfielder Egan quietly walked up, smiled and said softly, "We love you."
Goals: SP-Egan 2, Furton 2, Gardner 2, Pohlmeyer (penalty stroke), Ross, Wilson. Assists: SP-Ballard, Balleza, Kiser, Muhly, Pensyl, Ross. Saves: A-Openshaw, 32; SP-Dalisera 0. Half: SP, 5-0.
No. 2 Broadneck 6, Chesapeake-AA 2: : Kate Stengel had two goals to power the host Bruins (5-0) past the Cougars (2-4).
No. 9 Fallston 4, North Harford 2: : Chris Lievendag had two goals and one assist to lift the host Cougars (6-1) over the Hawks (2-4).
No. 3 Arundel 2, Northeast 0: : Sisters Sydney and Carley Keer each scored for the visiting Wildcats (5-0).
No. 9 Reservoir 3, Howard 2: : Michelle Viegas had two goals to put the host Gators (4-1-1) ahead 3-1 in the second half.
Baltimore Sun reporters contributed to this article.