Severna Park girls surge past Westminster, 14-7, in 4A-3A final

Senior Mia's dominance on draws ignites 9-0 run in second half, helping No. 11 Falcons deal No. 4 Owls their first loss of season

  • Severna Park players celebrate on the field after defeating Westminster, 14-7, in the state Class 4A-3A girls lacrosse championship.
Severna Park players celebrate on the field after defeating… (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore…)
May 25, 2011|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

Severna Park senior Rachel Mia hasn’t always taken the draws for the Severna Park, but in Wednesday night’s state Class 4A-3A girls lacrosse championship against No. 4 Westminster, she had the magic touch.

Mia helped the No. 11 Falcons, who have struggled with the draw at times this season, win the first eight of the second half to spark a nine-goal run and break the game open in a 14-7 victory over the previously unbeaten Owls.

"It was like draw after draw when we went into the second half, and we were getting them and getting them and it was goal after goal. I was like we need to keep this up. I was stoked. I was so happy," Mia said after the Falcons won 10 of 13 second-half draws and 16 of 23 in the game.

Once the Falcons (17-4) had the ball, they used their superior speed to outrun the Owls (16-1) in the midfield, striking quickly throughout the second half.

"Coming into this game, we knew we were the faster team and we wanted to take advantage of our fast breaks,” attacker Kendyl Gardner said. "We did a great job of winning the draws and seeing what we had. Winning the draws is a big confidence booster for the attack because it’s the most frustrating thing when you can’t do anything."

Kate Haker gave the Owls a 6-5 lead a little over two minutes into the second half, but the Falcons scored nine times in 15 minutes to take a 14-6 lead when Morgan Torggler raced down the middle to beat Owls goalie Caroline Russell (eight saves) with her fourth goal.

Before the attack got rolling in the second half, the Falcons' defense and some critical saves from Emily Mata kept them in the game early on. The Falcons entered the night having allowed only 5.1 goals per game, but they gave up four in the first five minutes as Bethany Baer gave the Owls (16-1) a 4-1 lead on a free-position.

In a tight first half that featured 12 shots for each team, the Owls took control early, but Mata, who finished with 10 saves, made six in the first half, stopping the Owls from a handful of angles and several times at point-blank range.

"In the second half, she had some huge saves where I feel like a few goals could have gotten us the momentum and turned the game around," Owls senior Alyssa Semones said. "She definitely came up with some big saves at key points that kind of gets in your head, and it’s hard to come back from that."

Westminster, which has not won a state title and has seen its season come to an end in the state tournament against Severna Park four of the past five years, took a 5-4 lead into the half after Jordan Wilkins made a nice move through the arc. But once Ryan Bathras gave the Falcons their first lead, 7-6 with 17:43 to go, they were off to the races.

Bathras, Elizabeth Barranco, Madison Thomas, Torggler, Gardner and Mia all scored one or two goals in the run to give coach Carin Peterson’s Falcons their fourth state championship in five years and their 10th overall – second only to Mount Hebron’s 15 titles.

Goals: W—Carder 2, Baer 2, Wilkins, Haker, Semones; SP—Torggler 4, Gardner 3, Bathras 2, Mia 2, Patterson, Barranco, Thomas.

Assists: W—Haker, Macera. SP—Gardner, Patterson.

Saves: W—Russell 8; SP—Mata 10. Half: W 5-4.

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