The Severna Park timeout came a little more than 10 minutes into the second half last night, just after visiting Annapolis took the game's first three-goal lead.
The message that came with it was simple and plenty direct.
"Basically, I told them to quit being chickens and go out and play," said Severna Park coach CarinPeterson.
Her No. 5 Falcons responded with the game's last four goals - Kate Hickman scored the winner with 3:15 left - giving them a 9-8 win and their second straight Anne Arundel County championship.
It was the first loss for the No. 3 Panthers, who fell to 13-1-1.
Their last loss?
This time last year, 6-5 in overtime against Severna Park in last year's county championship game. The Panthers went on to avenge that loss with a win in the Class 4A-3A East region playoffs and went on to win their second straight state crown.
Out of the timeout last night, Meg Miller went straight to goal to cut the Annapolis lead to 8-6 with 11:30 left. Lindsay Nauman followed with her second goal and Holly Noga pounced on a rebound to tie the game at 8 with 9:01 left. After Hickman's go-ahead goal, the Falcons won possession and ran off the last three minutes with a patient, four-corner approach that would have made Dean Smith proud.
"We stepped up our play and realized we can play with them. They're a great team and we're a great team, too. This gives us a lot of confidence going into the playoffs. We know we have to go out and play our best," Miller said.
The Falcons (11-3) dropped their regular-season game to Annapolis by an 8-7 count on a last-second goal and likely will see the Panthers in the region final later this month. Any question on just how big this county championship game is was quickly answered by Peterson.
"It's very important. People were saying this isn't the one you want, but you want to win them all, whether it's a county championship game, playoff game or in the regular season," she said.
The Panthers controlled the first half, dominating the draws and getting five strong saves from goalie Emily Childs, but only had 5-4 lead to show for it. After Nauman tied the game at 5 for the Falcons, Annapolis answered with three straight goals - two from Lexie Elliott and another from Sarah Oliphant - to seemingly take charge with 15:04 left.
That was not the case, however, and now it's the Panthers with something to think about with the two teams likely to meet a third time in the region playoffs.
"The last two games were barn-burners and I don't expect anything different. This should put a little more drive in us," said Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes.
No. 7 St. Mary's 10, No. 11 Maryvale 6: Bryer Davis led all scorers with two goals and two assists, and Kelly Coppedge scored three goals as the Saints (11-4) defeated the Lions (9-5-2) in an IAAM A Conference quarterfinal.
St. Mary's will visit No. 1 seed Bryn Mawr (18-1) tomorrow in the semifinals.