When Severn's field hockey players noticed they were not ranked among The Sun's Top 15 teams in preseason, they figured that could work to their advantage.
"When we weren't in there, we were like, 'Yes! We're going to be the team no one thinks about and then we're going to surprise everyone,' " said Schuyler Sutton, one of eight senior starters.
So far, they have, defeating No. 11 Garrison Forest, 3-1, yesterday on the heels of Friday's 2-0 upset of neighborhood rival Severna Park, which was ranked No. 2 in preseason.
"The Severna Park game was the first time we'd beaten them in my four years," Sutton said, "and that just gave us so much pride in our team. We just wanted to continue that. We didn't want people to think it was a fluke. We know it wasn't."
The Admirals are out from under the radar now, soaring to No. 5 this week. In the first three games, the attack has scored 17 goals (12 in a season-opening romp over Lutheran) and the defense did not allow a goal until the final five minutes of yesterday's contest.
While Severn looked in midseason form after two games, visiting Garrison Forest showed some first-game jitters.
The Admirals (3-0, 1-0 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference) took seven penalty corners and six shots before the ball finally went in the cage with 1:54 left in the first half on a drive that neither team thought was a goal at first because the ball came from outside the circle.
To score, an attacking player must touch the ball in the circle, but Molly Dodson got credit for the goal even though players from both teams said the ball deflected off Garrison defender Ellie Stewart's stick.
"It was a really hard hit from outside the circle and the front line kind of let it go, because there was no one really there," said Garrison back Lauren Sheets. "It just skipped over our sticks and we thought our defensive player had tipped it in so we didn't think it counted."
Sutton and teammates Emily Mason and Claire Bowersox went to the ball, but Sutton said none of them reached it.
"It was such a powerful shot off the free hit," Sutton said. "Their defender tried to stop it and it slipped off her stick. It wasn't really our goal, but it helped us get that motivation to start going."
In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Sutton scored two goals off nearly identical plays. Both came off long drives into the circle by Jess Adam.
The Grizzlies (0-1, 0-1) got one back when Kirby Houck finished off a nice pass from Annie Weglicki into the circle.