Severna Park advances to final Stops Richard Montgomery; to face Westminster next Field hockey

Gabrielle Cormier has a sprained right ankle and shin splints in her left leg. But she felt a whole lot better than yesterday's opponent.

Cormier, a senior, scored twice to lead top-seeded Severna Park over fourth seed Richard Montgomery, 3-0, in the state Class 4A field hockey semifinals at Goucher College.


The Falcons (13-1) can win their sixth state champi Field hockey

onship, and their first since 1987, with a victory Saturday over third-seeded Westminster.


Cormier (10 goals, one assist) gave Severna Park a 1-0 lead when she poked in a loose ball during a scramble at 17 minutes, 30 seconds of the first half. Rockets keeper Anice Schervish fell while trying to clear the ball from the pack, and Cormier seized the opportunity.

"It was just a garbage shot," she said.

Her next goal came at 5:57 of the second half and put Severna Park ahead, 2-0. Cormier stole the ball from Richard Montgomery's Julie Kauffunger along the back line and beat Schervish.

Senior midfielder Katie Kuch applied the finishing touch when she converted a penalty stroke with 20 seconds left. "We were really psyched for this," said Cormier, whose team had lost to Westminster, 1-0, in last year's state finals. "Everyone is so excited this year. Everyone wants to win so badly."

But not everyone is trying to play with as many ailments as Cormier.

"My ankle doesn't bother me as much during the game as afterwards," she said. "I have medicine that takes the pain away, so I don't feel it during the game."

Her team felt more pressure yesterday than it had in two regional playoff games, when Severna Park didn't allow a shot on goal. Though held in check for long stretches, the Rockets managed eight shots against Falcons senior keeper Rachel Kidwell.

"We just didn't attack soon enough. We waited way too long," said Richard Montgomery coach Sissy Natoli, whose team hadn't qualified for the state tournament since 1989. "Our strength is to score early and then just feed off that. We had a hard time getting the ball in the offensive end. They're a very good team."


Severna Park came away equally impressed with the Rockets, despite the final margin.

"I thought they were really good," said senior defender Tracy McGarry. "They had really good stickwork and they kept pushing. They definitely put a lot more pressure on us."

Richard Montgomery had its best offensive sequence with just over nine minutes remaining, when a penalty corner led to two straight shots that were redirected by Kidwell. The Rockets never seriously threatened after that.

"They showed nice teamwork, but my girls were overpowering today," Severna Park coach Lil Shelton said. "I hope we didn't peak today. I hope we can keep it going."

Cormier said, "It wasn't as easy as it looked."

Especially for someone with a sprained ankle and shin splints.