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Annapolis comes alive to beat S. River


Annapolis girls lacrosse coach Dave Gehrdes was angry, and everyone within sound of his raised voice knew it.

Especially his players, at whom his wrath was directed.

No. 8 Annapolis had bolted to a 3-0 lead over No. 15 South River barely four minutes into the game, only to allow the Seahawks to climb right back into it and tie the score at 3 midway through the first half.

Livid, Gehrdes called a timeout. What he said had the desired effect, and Annapolis (9-1) roused itself to defeat host South River, 15-9, yesterday in a game that ended in a slight drizzle.

"We bolted to a nice lead and then relaxed a bit," Gehrdes said.

"South River came back nicely and then I called the timeout.

"I was mad, very upset. We weren't going after ground balls. We stopped hustling. South River beat us to possession."

From 3-3, Annapolis scored six of the game's next seven goals, including five straight, for a 9-5 halftime lead.

South River (8-2) never came closer than three goals the rest of the way.

Jamie Pleyo led Annapolis with five goals and Becky Morris added four.

"We simply don't have the strength in numbers, or as many quality players as they have," South River coach Paula Tobin said.

"We can run with them, but we don't have their balance or experience."

In Tobin's six-year tenure at South River, the Seahawks have never beaten Annapolis, coming closest last year in a three-goal loss.

"These two teams get up for each other," Tobin said before the game. "It's a nice little area rivalry."

"It's always a tough game," Gehrdes said, noting that the schools are only five miles apart.

"Both teams rise to a different level when they play."

Annapolis is well on the way to a No. 1 seed in the Class 3A-4A East Region playoffs. The Panthers have four games remaining, including Friday's against Old Mill and Tuesday's against Chesapeake.

"If we can run the rest of our games, we'll be top-seeded in the region," Gehrdes said.

"Everybody else has at least two losses."

Annapolis' lone loss was to No. 14 Severna Park. A year ago, the Panthers stunned Severna Park in the region final and advanced to the state semifinals before bowing to Mount Hebron.

"Severna Park had won every year since the inception of the playoffs," Gehrdes said, "until last year."

Annapolis' goal is clear: Run the rest of the table, like Gehrdes says, win the region and storm into the state playoffs.

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