Severna Park strikes early in 12-6 girls lacrosse win over South River

No. 15 Falcons advance to 4A-3A East regional final with victory vs. No. 11 Seahawks

May 16, 2011|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

When Severna Park's girls lacrosse team defeated defending state champion South River in the season opener, the Falcons celebrated the victory, but they knew they likely would have to beat their archrival one more time to make it to the state tournament.

On Monday, the No. 15 Falcons won all the early draws and had the ball about 80 percent of the first half as they built a five-goal lead in 18 minutes en route to a 12-6 victory over the No. 11 Seahawks in a Class 4A-3A East regional semifinal.

"We lost to them in playoffs last year, and we were devastated," Falcons senior Rachel Mia said. "We've worked so hard this season, because we beat them once and we said, 'We can't not beat them again.'"

The Falcons, who won the last of their nine state titles in 2009, will play the winner of Monday night's other semifinal between Leonardtown and No. 14 Broadneck for the regional title Wednesday.

Getting off to a quick start Monday, Severna Park (14-4) won the first seven draws and outshot the Seahawks 23-9 in the first half. After Madison Thomas and Ryan Bathras gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead in just over three minutes, Jennie Milligan's spinner made it 2-1. The Falcons scored four more times to take a 6-1 lead on Thomas' drive down the middle with 7:19 left in the first half.

A 13-6 advantage on draws and excellent backups on their shots allowed the Falcons to keep the Seahawks from managing much attack throughout the game.

"We practice draw controls every day, over and over," Mia said. "In season, we've struggled with them a little bit. We came into this game like, 'We need draw controls or this game is going to be out of our favor,' so we came to get them, and it paid off."

The Seahawks (14-4) rallied late in the first half with two goals by Marisa Carroll, including a transition goal on a feed from Olivia Pyne with 3.2 seconds left to pull within 6-3, but they never managed to hold the momentum for long.

Falcons Ally Adams and Elizabeth Barranco opened the second half with back-to-back goals to boost the lead to 8-3. The Seahawks rallied again with Jacky Spalding's free-position goal and Amberly Kovalick's unassisted goal to pull within 8-5 with 14:29 to go, but the Seahawks could not get closer.

"We were playing too much defense," South River coach Kim McNemar said. "You can't play that much defense; you get worn down. We had a plan, and it wasn't executed. … We just weren't disciplined."

Goals: SR—Carroll 3, Milligan, Spalding, Kovalick; SP—Thomas 3, Mia 2, Adams 2, Torggler 2, Bathras, Barranco, Gardner.

Assists: SR—O.Pyne; SP—Gardner 2, Mia.

Saves: SR—Donnelly 8, Marbut 0; SP—Mata 8.

Half: SP, 6-3.

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