Severna Park's No. 1 field hockey team loses so rarely that even a 1-0 setback in a 25-minute preseason scrimmage sticks with the Falcons.
Yesterday, they called upon that loss to Bethesda-Chevy Chase at Pocomoke's playday to fuel a 6-0 victory over the Barons when it counted - at Roland Park's annual Sally E. Nyborg Invitational.
Not far away in Annapolis, No. 5 Broadneck and Chesapeake-AA scored similarly big victories over No. 7 Archbishop Spalding and St. Mary's, as public schools ruled the day at the St. Mary's Tournament.
Severna Park, which hosted yesterday's Nyborg tournament because the Reds' fields are being converted to artificial turf, wasted no time asserting itself. Kaylee Pohlmeyer scored the first goal 4:57 into the game.
"There's always been a really big rivalry between our two teams," Pohlmeyer said. "This feels awesome. I think we made a statement."
The teams, which have won 29 state titles between them, have met in the state Class 3A final three of the past four years. Severna Park won last season and in 2003, and the Barons prevailed in 2004. This year, the two cannot meet at states, because the Falcons have moved to Class 4A.
By halftime yesterday, Lelan Bailey had added two more goals and the Falcons were shooting for a 6-0 win, which they reached thanks to a goal by Megan Kowalski and two by Emilee West.
Barons coach Amy Wood, whose team (3-2) is rebuilding and suffering from a few key injuries, said the Falcons (3-0) excelled at exploiting defensive mistakes.
"They're just so good, and they proved it in the circle," Wood said. "You can't have any defensive mental lapses. ... They scored on each one of them and they had chances to score a couple more. They're like piranhas in there. If you don't clear the ball, they're going to make you pay."
At the St. Mary's Tournament, Broadneck (4-0) got off to a quick start against Spalding (3-4), which had upset No. 6 Garrison Forest on Friday. Bridgette Strother scored 57 seconds into the game to spark a 4-1 victory.
"We came into this game knowing it was going to be really tough. To get a goal as quick as we did, it set the tone for the game," said Strother, who finished with three goals and also had one in a 2-0 win over St. Mary's.
Unranked Chesapeake (3-0) served notice that it is a team to be reckoned with, upsetting the Cavaliers, 3-1, on goals from Megan Majerowicz, Lauren Gottleib and Emmalea Fraser.
The Cougars, who also beat St. Mary's 4-1, could jump into a crowded Anne Arundel County public school race with Severna Park, Broadneck and No. 4 South River (3-0).