Friday night marked the 716th day since the last Anne Arundel public school boys lacrosse team standing — Severna Park — marched off the field at Paint Branch High School as Class 4A state champions for a fourth straight season.
Finally, it’s time to reset the clock.
The Falcons proved they have no plans soon to end their reign over the county as they beat archrival Broadneck, 13-5, to begin their eight-game regular season with a statement.
“It’s awesome. We’re really excited to get back out here,” said senior Kyle Griffith, an Air Force commit who quarterbacked the Severna Park offense with three goals and an assist. “It’s been a long two years. We’ve all been working hard outside the field and then once we got back out here, the last 20 days we’ve been working really hard. … We were ready for tonight.”
The Falcons did not look ready at the start, however. Broadneck raced to a 3-0 lead on three assisted goals, two of which came from senior Mitch Murray.
But from then on, it was all Severna Park. Junior midfielder Parker Sealey, who scored a game-high four goals, scored a pair during a 4-1 Falcons run to end the first half, tying the game at 4 by halftime.
“That just shows the grit of our team,” Griffith said. “We went down early and we came back and we were ready.”
Senior Colin Shadowens, a faceoff specialist committed to the Naval Academy and the only player remaining in Anne Arundel who was a first team All-County selection in 2019, put Severna Park in front for good. He won the faceoff cleanly to start the second half, raced toward goal and buried a shot seven seconds into the quarter.
The onslaught was on from there. The Falcons had seven shots in the first 2:10, and the 14th shot of the quarter from Sealey found the back of the net and put the visiting team in front, 8-4. Overall, Severna Park outshot the Bruins 19-1 and outscored them 5-0 in the frame.
“Broadneck came at us right … and we were a little disoriented in the beginning,” said Falcons coach Travis Loving, who made his head coaching debut after Dave Earl decided to take the year off for personal reasons. “It was kind of expected a little bit, being the first game in however long, but I’m really proud of these guys for getting their mind right and regrouping and playing Severna Park lacrosse.”
After three more goals to start the fourth quarter, Broadneck finally stopped the bleeding with 3:21 left sophomore Ryan Della put an end to the Falcons’ nine-goal run.
Though a disappointing result, second-year coach Jeff McGuire, who was making his Bruins coaching debut after several years at North County, was pleased to see the transition game his squad will rely on clicking early and to see no quit at any point.
“I really liked how we finished. Super resilient, super tough and really sticking to our culture of just finishing and being disciplined all the way through,” he said. “Being down eight goals and still running our offense all the way through and not being selfish, riding out butts off in the last 30 seconds of the game, what more can you do? I’m proud of these guys.”
Shadowens was the difference-maker, especially in the third quarter when the offense found its groove. He won all 20 of his faceoffs and Broadneck’s only win came with him on the sideline and the game out of reach.
McGuire said his defenders and midfielders began to tire as a result of Severna Park making make-it, take-it.
“Ridiculous,” Griffith said of Shadowens. “He’s so good.”
“It’s great to have the ball back after every goal,” Sealey said.
Griffith, who started on the 2018 and 2019 state championship teams, said the team was “definitely eyeballing this game” once the schedule was released and Broadneck was their first opponent. But he was also quick to note that, with a postseason not guaranteed, it’s about enjoying each game as it comes and taking it one game at a time.
GOALS: SP — Parker Sealey 4, Kyle Griffith 3, Charlie Evans 1, Colin Shadowens 1, Connor Koistinen 1, Joaquin Villagomez 1, Rory Sullivan 1, Ganon Cope 1; BN — Mitch Murray 2, Kyle Pierce 2, Ryan Della 1
ASSISTS: SP — Griffith 1, Koistinen 1, Kevin Bredeck 1, Sean Ladas 1; BN — Eli Harris 1, Simon Moore 1, Davis Fisher 1, Pierce 1
SAVES: SP — Ashby Shepherd 6; BN — Colin Gray 6