By now, avenging a playoff loss that happened almost a year ago was the least of Severna Park's concerns.
Before this season began, many of the Falcons couldn't wait to see Annapolis, which had ended their winning streak at 42 games last May with a 6-5 victory in the Class 3A-4A East Region final, denying them a chance at their fifth consecutive state championship.
Yesterday, though, they had bigger concerns. They had lost two of their first four games and slipped to No. 14 in the metro-area rankings. They badly needed to regain some confidence and momentum.
An upset of No. 4 Annapolis did just that.
Sophomore Amy Noble scored three times, and Severna Park's defense clamped down on the previously unbeaten Panthers in a 9-7 victory at Al Laramore Field.
Diane Mooney, Michelle Rose, Melissa Ballance, Krissy Schmidt, Ani Mason and Lindsey Poland each scored once for Severna Park (3-2), which took the lead with 14:48 left in the first half and never gave it up. Shannon Chaney made six saves.
Junior defensive wing Amy Brew had four goals for Annapolis (4-1). Kate Bjorke, Jamie Pleyo and Karen Hunt scored once.
The Panthers had outscored their opponents, 64-12, going in, but were stymied by a Falcons defense led by Poland and Jen Voishan. Poland marked Pleyo (nine goals, 12 assists) and Voishan marked Hunt (19, six), and the Annapolis duo struggled to get free.
Hunt entered the game as the county's leading public-school scorer, but her only goal came on a free-position shot with 57 seconds remaining and her team behind, 9-6.
"They got back real well on defense," said Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes. "They really clogged up the middle. They had 12 players back inside the eight-meter arc, which makes it hard for anybody to do anything offensively. And we made some mistakes. We had some great opportunities."
Severna Park was outshot, 17-14, but made the most of its opportunities.
On four occasions, the Panthers got within one goal, the last time with 5:51 left when Pleyo ducked a check and scooped a shot past Chaney to make it 7-6.