Senior nights are always special.
This one meant just a little more for Severna Park’s field hockey team.
After the Falcons’ group of seniors were honored prior to the game on their new field after playing the previous three years at Kinder Park, the team celebrated by scoring two goals in the final 7 minutes, 39 seconds and defeated Chesapeake, 2-1, on Tuesday.
Senior Alex Miller’s goal with 3:30 left off a penalty corner proved to be the game-winner for the Falcons.
“We really wanted to do it for each other and our teammates,” Miller said. “It’s weird being a senior, but it’s awesome. Tonight was a great night.”
For a while, it looked like the first goal was going to be all that was needed to win. With neither team generating much pressure toward the goal over the first half and much of the second, the Cougars went ahead with 8:10 left in regulation when Hannah McKeon scored off a penalty corner.
The Falcons (8-4-1) responded with the equalizer from Caroline Welle 31 seconds later, then Miller’s shot that appeared to go off a Chesapeake player four minutes later put the Falcons ahead for good.
“They really, really wanted to win tonight because this was their last home game,” Severna Park coach Shannon Garden said. “My seniors have been through a lot and they were really hungry for a win on this field and to leave this field with a good memory.”
Severna Park’s Lily Echeverria made a nice defensive play at the one-minute mark to slow down a Chesapeake attack. The Cougars kept the pressure on, though, and attempted four untimed penalty corners once time expired. The Falcons were unable to clear the first three, but made one final stop to preserve the win.
“I couldn’t breathe,” Garden said. “I just held my breath. It felt like an hour. I couldn’t even look.”
The win kept Severna Park alive for a berth in the county championship game and sent the Cougars (7-5) to their second county loss. South River, Broadneck and Arundel from the top tier all entered play Tuesday with one county loss apiece.
“Chesapeake is a great team and we were real worried coming in,” Garden said. “It was a really great game. It was back-and-forth and could have gone either way.”
Eve Vickery stopped seven shots for Chesapeake, including a pair a minute apart as the Falcons started to mount some pressure midway through the second half.
The Cougars, two-time defending Class 3A state champions, have games remaining with Annapolis and Broadneck.
“It was a great game,” Chesapeake coach Joan Johnson said. “We’ll have to win out and wait for someone to lose. We wanted to take care of business and I’m really proud of the girls I have on my team and how hard they worked and how much effort they put out there.”
The Falcons, who in the last week have played South River, Broadneck, IAAM A Conference power Notre Prep and Chesapeake, will close with North County on Monday.
“Everybody is beating everyone,” Garden said. “This is exciting because it’s anyone’s game and I don’t think anyone is going to run away with it this year.”