Severna Park has beaten some of the top teams in the state this spring, including Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference powers Severn and Spalding. But the Falcons won’t face any of those teams next month when they try to defend their 4A/3A state championship.
They could, however, have to get through Howard, which they did a year ago in a 9-3 win to capture their first state title since 2010. So consider Wednesday's contest another aced test for Severna Park against a quality opponent.
Trevor Patschorke scored four goals and Josh Coffman added three to lead the visiting Falcons to a 12-5 victory over the Lions to improve to 9-0.
“This is the second year in a row we’ve faced a tough Howard team,” said Patschorke, a UMBC commit. “Last year we played them in the regular season and ended up facing them again in the state final again, so we look forward to the chance to play them again in the playoffs.”
Howard (6-3) posed a tough challenge early on, as Felix Knorr won the opening faceoff and Mark Bruner gave his team a 1-0 lead on the first possession of the game. Knorr would keep the Lions in it throughout the first 20 minutes of play. He took control of 10 of 11 draws in the first half and ultimately won 16 of 21 in the game, but Severna Park found different ways to find possession and capitalized to pull away.
Coffman, Patschorke and Josh Thomas (two goals, two assists) scored three straight goals to close out the first quarter, the last of which came on a turnover and fast break executed to perfection. Ben O’Connor’s goal for Howard 13 seconds into the second cut the deficit to one, but the Falcons picked up their defensive pressure from then on and scored the final four goals of the half, including two more from Patschorke, to take a 7-2 lead into the break.
“Their ride put us in a spot where we weren’t able to clear the ball,” said Howard coach Jimmy Creighton, who added that Severna Park’s ability to finish reminded him of his 2015 state championship team. “They did get some nice stops and nice saves and it kind of gave them their second opportunities and some of those dunks up close in the second quarter. That gave them a chance to stretch their lead a little but and put it out of reach for us a little bit.”
Patschorke said the halftime speech focused on picking up the effort and execution and “playing Severna Park lacrosse,” which seemed to start with Chase Cope’s rifled shot into the top-right corner less than five minutes into the second half. Coffman forced a turnover from Lions goalie Devlin Bradley (nine saves) and buried a shot into the empty net with 6:11 left and Patschorke tallied his fourth goal on a fast break for their seventh straight goal and push the advantage to 10-2.
Howard stopped the skid with Bruner’s second goal but Coffman then picked the top-left corner for his third goal in the final minute of the quarter. Four of the Falcons’ faceoff wins came in the third quarter as well.
“We definitely play with a little bit on confidence in ourselves,” Patschorke said. “I think it’s just the talent we have on this team, great stick work all around that I think helps us pull off some of those goals.”
Patrick Sutch scored the last two goals of the game for Howard, which lost all three games to Anne Arundel County opponents.
Severna Park coach Dave Earl knows how dominant Patschorke and Coffman have been this season. He says they have the green light to shoot essentially at any moment, but he credits the midfield for creating the fast break chances that allow that duo to have success.
“I can’t talk enough about guys like Chase Cope, just a solid player, Andrew Betch and Dean Draughn. Between the lines, they play great defense and they’re not afraid to carry it over in transition and give those other guys some opportunities,” he said.
Severna Park (9-0) — 12, Howard (6-3) — 5
Goals: SP — Trevor Patschorke 4, Josh Coffman 3, Chase Cope 2, Jack Thomas 2, Steven Zichelli; Ho — Mark Bruner 2, Patrick Sutch 2, Ben O’Connor
Assists: SP — Thomas 2, S. Zichelli 2, Cope, Cian Chung, Cullen Joyce; Ho — Bruner 2
Saves: SP — Shane Carr 12; Ho — Devlin Bradley 9
Halftime: 7-2, Severna Park