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Charlie Evans breaks single-game scoring record as Severna Park boys lacrosse crushes Catonsville for fifth straight state title

There were doubts about whether the Severna Park boys lacrosse team’s run of state championships would continue this season.

The coronavirus pandemic wiped out the 2020 season and a class full of players who knew what it takes to win a state title. Dave Earl, the coach who led the Falcons to four consecutive titles, took the year off. Opponents could smell blood in the water and were circling, eager to be the one to finally take out Severna Park.

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None were successful. The tradition runs deeper than one class or one coach or one pandemic, and the Falcons proved it Saturday night.

Severna Park peaked in its final game, scoring the first 10 goals and dominating Catonsville, 11-3, to win the Class 4A crown and capture its fifth consecutive state championship and 10th overall to tie Hereford for the most in Maryland public school history.

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Another title next season would tie the state record of six consecutive titles Hereford set from 2008 to 2013.

Severna Park boys lacrosse celebrates after beating Catonsville, 11-3, in the Class 4A state championship game at Loyola University's Ridley Athletic Complex Saturday night for its fifth straight state crown.
Severna Park boys lacrosse celebrates after beating Catonsville, 11-3, in the Class 4A state championship game at Loyola University's Ridley Athletic Complex Saturday night for its fifth straight state crown. (Steve Ruark / Capital Gazette)

“That just comes down to the tradition Severna Park lacrosse has,” senior defender Rory Sullivan said. “We knew coming into this year we lost a lot of key players. … We knew this year there were going to be players that had never played a varsity game that were going to have to step up, and every day in practice they just came ready to work and you saw it tonight. These guys love it.”

Senior attackman Charlie Evans was unstoppable on this night at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Complex. He scored five of the first six goals in the first half and finished with seven to break the Class 4A single-game record for most goals scored in a Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association championship game, eclipsing the marks set by Damon Scurdo (Dulaney, 1991), Mike Haertel (Arundel, 1995) and Ben Chisholm (South River, 2011).

Evans’ teammates were more excited than he was upon hearing he will sit alone in the record book. Perhaps that’s the sign of the unselfishness that made this Falcons team special with 13 wins and no defeats.

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“I don’t want to take credit for that,” Evans said. “You know, it was a team effort tonight and all these guys came prepared. A lot of my teammates — I think most of my goals were assisted — so I was just getting open and everybody was finding me.”

This title, they all agreed, is different. There was no guarantee of a season in February, and it wasn’t until mid-May that a postseason was planned. Senior faceoff specialist Colin Shadowens, who won 14 of 15 faceoffs, scored once and assisted another, called it a blessing to simply have a championship game.

“We went out not expecting to have a season,” said Shadowens, a Navy commit who won his third championship medal as one of the handful of four-year varsity players. “… It’s surreal. I still can’t believe we just won a state championship, and I’m just grateful to be here.”

The result was never in doubt. Severna Park smothered Catonsville until the minute Falcons first-year coach Travis Loving emptied the bench early in the fourth quarter. Severna Park led 3-0 after the first quarter and put the game out of reach with Evans scoring three straight goals in the span of 1:23 to double the lead. The Falcons scored two more goals in the next 1:23 and took an 8-0 lead into halftime.

“I’m so happy for them, the way they came out firing on all cylinders tonight because our last game [against Sherwood] we were playing not to lose instead of to win,” Loving said. “So, we tried to loosen the mood and try to get them to play for each other. We talked about loving each other.”

Defensively, the 10-man ride was executed to near perfection. The Comets, who entered the game 11-0, managed just three shots — none on goal — in the first 24 minutes. Severna Park had 28.

“That 10-man ride has given people fits all year. We knew about it very well, schemed for it and just didn’t scheme it correctly,” Catonsville coach KR Schultz said. “We didn’t run it right. I thought we had a good plan for it and I didn’t implement it right. That’s on me.”

Evans tied the championship game record with his sixth goal 2:10 into the third quarter and the Falcons built a 10-0 lead after senior midfielder Connor Koistinen scored his second with 5:46 on the clock. Catonsville finally got on the board when Tyler Mikalaski scored with 11.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter on the Comets’ sixth shot attempt of the game.

Evans’ record-breaking goal came amid a sudden downpour in Baltimore midway through the fourth before Loving sent in the reserves.

Eric Kaplan and Johnny Bolster added goals for Catonsville down the stretch.

Evans buried most of his goals just steps away from the crease as the inside attackman. He said the coaching staff prepared for the zone defense the Comets implemented.

“We threw a pressure zone at them. I don’t think that was the best call by me,” Schultz said. “I don’t think it was my best coaching night, but they move the ball really well and kudos to them for it. It’s tough to score on [goalkeeper] Brian Ruppel unless you’re within six inches of him.”

The soft-spoken and humble Loving gladly accepted the championship trophy but quickly handed it off to his players to celebrate with. The defensive coordinator during most of Earl’s tenure, Loving said winning as a head coach “really means a lot.”

“I’ve won two national championships [at Haverford] but not as a head coach,” he said. “So this, it’s very meaningful to do it as a head coach, for sure … but it’s all about them.”

GOALS: SP — Charlie Evans 7, Connor Koistinen 2, Kyle Griffith 1, Colin Shadowens 1; C — Tyler Mikalaski 1, Eric Kaplan 1, Johnny Bolster 1.

ASSISTS: SP — Koistinen 2, Griffith 1, Shadowens 1, Nolan Zborai 1 Kevin Bredeck 1; C — None.

SAVES: SP — Ashby Shepherd 3, Jack Blumenberg 1; C — Brian Ruppel 11.

HALF: 8-0, SP

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