St. Mary's coach Sue Chittim knew that if her team could grab at least 30 ground balls, it would win.
The No. 10 Saints fell short of that goal with 29, but they still coasted to a 12-8 victory over No. 4 Severn yesterday at a wet Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
St. Mary's took control of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference contest with five unanswered goals midway through the game and ended Severn's four-game winning streak.
Julie Schindel, Joanna Dalton and Jen Fox each scored four goals. Goalie Natalie Wills also came up big with 15 saves, several on shots from point-blank range.
"If you give [Severn] any edge, they will exploit it," Chittim said. "They are an extremely good team, loaded with talent. We knew we had to come out strong and not worry about one or two mistakes. That's been the moniker of our team this year. If we make one or two mistakes, we beat ourselves up so bad, and we make three or four more. I did not see that today."
Caroline Crow, Alex Priddy, Makenzie Carroll and Bridget Brown each had two goals for the Admirals. Severn won 13 draws, compared to St. Mary's eight.
Severn (11-5, 8-4) returned 22 of the 24 players who lost in last year's A Conference title game to John Carroll.
The Admirals took early leads on goals by Carroll and Priddy, but St. Mary's (11-7, 7-5) answered each time. Schindel scored two free-position goals five minutes apart to give the Saints their first lead of the game with 6:02 left in the first half.
"My teammates just pumped me up today," Schindel said. "We did so many pre-game activities together. We got each other gifts and did all of this stuff. With Nat in the goal not letting anything in, you can't ask for any more than that."
Fox then gave the Saints a 5-2 lead at halftime with a pair of goals 28 seconds apart.
Severn got back-to-back goals by Priddy and Carroll that cut the margin to 7-4 with 17:10 left. However, St. Mary's went on a 5-2 run to pull away before Severn scored two late goals.
"It was a complete team effort," Wills said. "Everyone was on tonight."