Coming off a state championship and in the midst of a dominating undefeated season, it would be understandable if the Severna Park boys lacrosse team occasionally got away from its mantra of taking it one quarter at a time.
The No. 4 Falcons are simply having too much fun enjoying the ride. And while the chance at another state championship quickly nears, they are more than content patiently staying the course.
On Wednesday, Severna Park added another championship plaque — starting fast in a comfortable 20-9 win over Anne Arundel County rival South River for the Class 4A-3A East region crown at Kinder Farm Park.
The Falcons improved to 18-0 and will take a 35-game winning streak into the state semifinals against North champion Montgomery Blair either Friday or Saturday at Gaithersburg High. The date and time have yet to be scheduled. Blair beat Bowie, 19-10, on Wednesday.
The Falcons took a 5-1 lead after one quarter and extended it to 11-1 just before the half. Trevor Patschorke (five goals, one assist), Josh Coffman (three goals, three assists), Steven Zichelli (four goals, one assist) and Chase Cope (four goals) provided more than enough offense, and goalie Shane Carr finished with nine saves.
"We all just love playing together. We're all unselfish, so when we have the ball on offense it's not just one guy trying to dodge through everyone. It's us finding the open guy and we have a lot of great shooters like Trevor and Josh, so it just makes thing easy," Zichelli said.
The constant request from the coaching staff has been to win the first quarter and go from there.
The Falcons killed a penalty in the game's first minute and then Coffman made it 1-0 on their first possession. Patschorke made it 2-0 less than three minutes into play and the Falcons were on their way with Carr making some big early saves to help build the advantage.
In outscoring Old Mill, Howard and South River by a combined 54-22 to claim the East region, the Falcons are confident they can bring home the program's seventh state title.
The Falcons had a perfect season in 2010, but Zichelli made sure to point out those Falcons didn't play any Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference teams. This season, the Falcons beat MIAA A Conference foes Archbishop Spalding and Severn.
"It feels great. We have a great group of guys, a great group of seniors who are hungry," Zichelli added. "We've all been talking about this since we were freshmen. We've all been close, so it's fun now that it's actually happening. We've all been playing lacrosse for a while and we've all been playing together, so it makes it that much more fun."
South River coach Colin Campbell got plenty of mileage from his hardworking team that simply didn't have the firepower to match the Falcons. In finishing with a 13-5 mark, the Seahawks reached the region title game with a 12-9 win at Broadneck after losing to the Bruins, 14-5, in the regular season May 2. Ty Kaplow, Andrew Dusalt and Brock Dimauro each had two goals Wednesday.
"We had a lot of guys step at different points [in the season]," Campbell said. "With our scoring, it was nine guys with about the same amount of goals and assists and I liked seeing that. We didn't have the horses that Severna Park has and I don't think we had the horses of a lot of other teams, but I think we just outplayed some and were the better team."
"We got punched in the mouth in other games and we've answered the bell. We answered it at times today, but not enough and not early. We had a great group of seniors and I'm really proud of them."