May 20, 2018
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  • The Severna Park boys are Anne Arundel County champions after Monday's 9-7 win over Broadneck at Old Mill High School.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    The Severna Park boys are Anne Arundel County champions after Monday's 9-7 win over Broadneck at Old Mill High School.

Severna Park Boys Are County Champs With 9-7 Win Over Broadneck

Colin Murphy
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May 8, 2018

A one-off county championship game right before the playoffs could, in theory, be treated as a meaningless exhibition that two of the region’s top contenders would rather not play and should just coast through without exerting too much effort.

Yeah. Right.

The Severna Park and Broadneck boys lacrosse teams displayed a wholly different level of intensity on Monday night in the Anne Arundel County championship game at Old Mill High School, delivering 48 minutes of physical lacrosse that left the Falcons with a hard-earned 9-7 victory and the 2018 county championship.

The Falcons withstood the Bruins’ stiff challenge behind three goals from Chase Cope, two goals each from Mikey Harmeyer and Jack Thomas and scores by Josh Coffman and Dean Draughn. Shane Carr had 15 saves to anchor a solid defensive performance for the Falcons, who enter the playoffs at 12-2 overall with a county title.

Falcon senior midfielder Drew Betch said there was no way a match with the Bruins was going to be taken lightly by either side.

“Playing Broadneck always brings out some intensity,” said Betch.

The Bruins were worthy challengers on Monday night, making it hard on the Falcons every step of the way. They took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Keegan Houser late in the first quarter and held Severna Park scoreless for the game’s first 16 minutes behind the defense of Zach Doyle, Steven Jacobs, Jaedan Henson, Jack Bragaw and goalkeeper Brandon Hall, who saved the first six shots that came his way.

But Severna Park’s defense was equally stout. The Falcons gave up 13 goals the last time the teams met on April 20, and they were determined to improve upon that effort. Aside from Houser’s goal, Severna Park’s primary longstick corps of Ben Morgan, Trent Bellotte, Matt Alton and Niles Tinsley was relentless in its disruption of Broadneck’s offense, closing out passing lanes and hounding ball carriers. Tinsley had a team-high five loose balls controlled to help Severna Park disrupt Broadneck.

That allowed the Falcon offense to take over. Taking advantage of a pair of Broadneck slashing penalties, the Falcons’ extra-man offense yielded goals by Draughn, Thomas and Cope that helped Severna Park to a 3-1 lead at halftime.

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park vs. Broadneck, Anne Arundel County boys lacrosse championship, 5.7.18

The lead grew to 5-1 in the third quarter behind goals by Harmeyer and Cope, and it momentarily looked as if the Falcons might stretch the game into a rout.

Broadneck wouldn’t let it happen. The Bruins continued to fight, powered by the face-off ability of Vinny Facciponti and some determined battles for possession in the midfield that opened the transition game. Goals by Houser, Facciponti and two by Brian Schwob were interrupted only by a score by Thomas during a 4-1 Broadneck run in the third, and Severna Park held a tenuous 6-5 lead midway through the quarter.

Cope and Coffman gave the Falcons a little breathing room before the end of the frame, but Parker Griffey pulled one back for Broadneck to make the score 8-6 heading into the fourth.

The final period resembled the first, with both defenses digging in and the teams delivering hit after hit as the game turned increasingly physical and chippy. Harmeyer gave the Falcons a 9-6 lead with eight minutes to play, and Carr and the Severna Park defense stopped every Broadneck action until Carter Hall scored with four seconds left.

Carr said the team valued the chance to improve its defense against the Bruins.

“After the last game [against Broadneck] we were all unsatisfied with the way we played, so we wanted to come out with a different passion, and we wanted to play better this time,” said Carr. “We communicated better and just played all-around better defense. Everyone was communicating, sliding, recovering, and we just came out hot, and it’s what we do.”

Senior attackman Hans Hansen, who had an assist for Severna Park in the win, said the Falcons need to play sharper on offense moving forward.

“I think we realized that in order to win this game we really had to pick it up and do what we do and really get into the offense,” said Hansen. “Luckily we did that enough to score more goals than the other team, but there is definitely room for improvement.”

Betch said any talk of the county championship not mattering was dismissed. Once the whistle blew to start, the players were there to win and get better.

“It just gives us momentum heading into the state playoffs,” sad Betch. “I know a lot of people think of this as kind of a meaningless game, but we just took it as the next game. We’re going to go out there, play as hard as we can, rally around each other, and get some momentum going into states.”

Hansen noted the rivalry: “Especially playing our rivals, Broadneck, we always love a chance to play them.”

There’s a possibility the teams could meet again in the playoffs, which start Friday. Severna Park is the top seed in Section I of the 4A East and will host the winner of Glen Burnie and North County on Friday. The Bruins are the top seed in Section II of the 4A East and will host the winner of Annapolis and North Point.

The teams could see each other next Wednesday in the 4A East region final.

“We can’t get enough of Broadneck, that’s for sure,” said Carr, speaking specifically of Monday’s victory, before turning his focus to the future. “We have to go game by game. If we look ahead, we’ll lose momentum. We just have to focus on our opponent, don’t look forward, play our game, and good things will happen.”

Betch said the team’s run at a third straight state championship is everything they’ve worked for, and it’s now right there to begin.

“Just take every game one step at a time and take every game seriously,” said Betch, “and come out and play Severna Park lacrosse.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park vs. Broadneck, Anne Arundel County boys lacrosse championship, 5.7.18

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