Falcons dump Bruins in semifinal game


For the briefest of instants, it appeared Broadneck might have a chance of beating Severna Park in yesterday's Class 4A-3A Region IV semifinal girls lacrosse game.

Just 11 seconds into the game, the third-seeded Bruins' Megan McEwan (23 goals this year) raced downfield to score one of her three goals on the day, giving Broadneck a 1-0 lead.

But McEwan's big day came at the expense of her high-scoring teammates Becca Fink (46 goals) and Michelle Meyer (39), who notched only a goal between them as the defending state champion Falcons (12-1) won their 10th straight game, 13-5.

Broadneck (11-4), ranked No. 12 in The Baltimore Sun poll, had played the Falcons tough in an earlier 8-7 loss which -- coupled with a season-opening setback to Annapolis -- dropped the Bruins to 0-2.

The Bruins brought a six-game winning streak into yesterday's game, but Coach Leann Shuck knew her squad was in for a tough day when Meyer's first run at the goal was checked loose by Severna Park defender Eva Roes.

Just 3:11 had elapsed when the second-seeded Falcons, ranked No. 4 in the metro area, took a 3-1 lead after Lizzy Warfield tallied her first of four goals, and teammate Stephanie Roberts (two goals, two assists) scored and then assisted on Liz Wilson's goal.

The Falcons, who also got support from Erin Wylde (three goals), Nicki Cecere (one goal, one assist) and Amy Carnaggio and Gabby Cormier (one goal each), held a 5-1 lead before the Bruins tallied for the second time.

Bruins keeper Paige Bowman handled 11 shots, compared with only three for Falcons' goalie Brandee Snyder.

"On defense, we were going for the stick checks instead of body marking," said Shuck. "They have speed, but we have girls who were just as quick. Unfortunately, we'd go for the stick checks and weren't holding our position, so they'd get two steps ahead."

And that's where the Falcons stayed, leading, 8-2, at the half, outshooting the visitors, 22-8, in the process (33-14 for the game).

"The last time we played them, it was early in the season," said Warfield. "We've improved a lot since then. Our midfield transition was really getting its cuts. And defensively, we were just trying to cut off a couple of people."

Said Falcons coach Carin Peterson, "Our defense has done a nice job all year, and cutting those players out forced them to rely on some others to play."

The Falcons will try to duplicate their defensive feats in today's regional championship game against top-seeded Annapolis (11-3), which boasts the county's top scorer in sophomore Cristi Samaras (69 goals). Samaras' teammates Lauren Feinstein (19 goals), Heather Knutson (14) and Cory Harmon (13 goals, eight assists) are also capable scorers.

The Panthers, who defeated South River, 13-4, in Friday's other semifinal, are the only team to beat Severna Park, winning an overtime thriller, 9-7.

"After that game, our team really started to click," said Peterson. "I think it kind of woke us up."

Severna Park found itself in a similar position a year ago when Chesapeake ended the Falcons' winning streak at 57 before losing, 9-5, in the state championship game.

The Severna Park-Broadneck game was rained out Friday, and no officials could be found to cover a Saturday meeting.

So the Falcons are forced to play back-to-back contests, a fact Peterson hopes will not affect her team's play in today's game.

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