Given a second chance, Lila Slattery came through.
With Severna Park and Chesapeake tied at 1 in overtime of the field hockey county championship game on Thursday night at Glen Burnie High School, Slattery gathered a rebound of her own shot and scored the game-winning goal to give the Falcons a 2-1 victory and the county title.
Slattery’s goal came just 21 seconds into the extra session after Megan Brannen worked to create the scoring opportunity.
“I was thinking I didn’t want the ball to go out of the circle, I just wanted to finish it,” Slattery said. “This gives us a boost. We lost to Chesapeake the last time, so we wanted to win the second time.”
Severna Park (13-1) won the county title outright this year after sharing it with South River last year when the teams played to a tie in the county championship. Thursday’s win avenges the Falcons’ only loss of the year, which came to the Cougars on Oct. 10.
“It could have fallen the other way very easily. They had more opportunities than we had,” Severna Park coach Ann Andrews said. “In that overtime, they just knew what they needed to do.”
Despite watching Chesapeake attempt 12 penalty corners to just four for the Falcons, Severna Park gave up just six shots. Two came in the final minute of regulation when Madison Nutter (five saves) came up big with the Cougars looking for the winning goal. Other times, the Falcons defended the corners well and didn’t give up too many quality scoring chances.
“It really was a team effort. On the corners, we are all talking to each other and just saying to stay calm,” said Hailey Blachly, who played up top on most of the corners and cleared the ball out the circle several times before the Cougars could get a shot off. “Every single time, we were saying ‘Nothing in.’ I think that just put us in the mindset on each of their corners to just focus on where the ball was right then and get it out. As soon as we got it out, we could calm down.”
The Falcons took the lead just 1 minute, 22 seconds into the game when Alex Miller scored off a scramble. They held the lead all the way until the 12:42 mark of the second half when Shelby Bennoit scored off a penalty corner to tie the game. Despite the Cougars seemingly having the momentum, the Falcons carried the play most of the rest of regulation before the Cougars had their chances in the final minute.
“Chesapeake had a lot of momentum for most of the game, but it really turned after they scored,” Andrews said. “We were really taking control and created a lot of opportunities for ourselves.”
Severna Park will not play again until hosting a Class 4A East Region Section I final on Oct. 30 against either Arundel or Annapolis. If the Falcons were to win that game, they would play in the region final with an opportunity to add to their state-record 32 appearances in the state semifinals.
“We finally have everyone healthy,” Andrews said. “Now the goal is to keep everyone healthy and motivated.”
Eve Vickery stopped four shots and Logan Beal had two defensive saves for Chesapeake (11-4). The Cougars, who won the regular season county championship, also won’t play again until Oct. 30 when they host the Class 3A East Region Section I final against either Northeast or J.M. Bennett as they look for their third straight region title.
“An extra game before the playoffs doesn’t hurt anybody,” Chesapeake coach Joan Johnson said. “It would have been nice to win, but it was a great game. Severna Park played a great game and they’re a great team. They go to 4A and we go to 3A and we could both win a state championship.”
Severna Park 2, Chesapeake 1 (OT)
Goals: SP — Al. Miller, Slattery; CH — Bennoit.
Assists: SP — Slattery.
Saves: SP — Nutter 5; SP — Vickery 4.
Halftime: 1-0, SP; Regulation: 1-1.