Severna Park's Morgan Torggler heads up field. (Photo by Brendan Cavanaugh…)
Losing to your archrival can sting for a long time, especially when it comes in the regional playoffs, deals your team its only loss of the season and propels that rival on to the state championship.
Elizabeth Barranco and her Severna Park girls lacrosse teammates drew on those feelings Saturday to drive an early second-half barrage and avenge that regional semifinal loss to defending state Class 4A-3A champ South River.
Barranco scored the first two goals as the No. 6 Falcons rallied for five in less than seven minutes, cooling off hot South River goalie Kelsea Donnelly en route to an 11-8 victory over the No. 5 Seahawks in the season opener for both.
The visiting Falcons celebrated the Anne Arundel County league win as if it were the postseason.
"It felt like more than a playoff game," Barranco, whose team fell 9-6 in the regional game, said. "The entire year, it's been killing me. I've been waiting for this day since May 21st or whenever."
Early on, the Seahawks (0-1) got the better of play thanks to Donnelly's big saves. The keeper stopped nine of 15 first-half shots, including five free positions.
Donnelly's performance and a 3-0 run on two goals from Olivia Pyne and one from Marisa Carroll gave the Seahawks a 4-2 edge. Ryan Bathras cut it to 4-3 for the Falcons but Sarah Maloof made it 5-3 at the break.
In the second half, the Falcons (1-0), won the first five draws and that fueled the offense. Barranco scored twice in just over three minutes. Ally Adams scored on a free position and Kendyl Gardner added back-to-back goals on feeds from Adams and Bathras to boost the margin to 8-5, the biggest lead of the game.
"We just really needed to work on our motion and that's what we struggled with in the first half a lot," Gardner said. "We needed to spread it out more and that's when we got more of the cuts and the picks."
Donnelly, who finished with 11 saves, struggled in the second half, giving up seven goals on the first ten Falcons' shots. Alex Watson and Pyne scored to bring the Seahawks within 8-7 midway through the half, but after Bathras and Madison Thomas scored within 34 seconds to boost Severna Park's lead to 10-7, Molly Marbut came on in the South River goal and allowed just one more goal while making four saves.
"We got outhustled, outplayed," Seahawks coach Kim McNemar said. "My team stood and watched them get the draws. When we got the draws, we scored. Second half, our attack wasn't disciplined. That's the bottom line."
The Falcons also got a strong performance from their goalie Emily Mata, who finished with six saves.
Goals: SP—Gardner 3, Bathras 2, Barranco 2, Torggler 2, Adams, Thomas; SR—O.Pyne 3, Maloof 3, Carroll, Watson; Assists: SP—Bathras 2, Adams; SR—Maloof, Mackintosh. Saves: SP—Mata 6; SR—Donnelly 11, Marbut 4. Half: SR, 5-3.