Severna Park High’s boys’ lacrosse team has been so dominant the last month, it would’ve been fair to view Wednesday’s Class 4A state title match as a coronation. Winston Churchill, however, had other ideas.
The Montgomery County squad brought the Falcons’ run-and-gun to a screeching halt. Severna Park’s championship reign was on the brink of collapse.
But the Falcons stayed vigilant and are champions again. No. 4 Severna Park outlasted Churchill, 7-6, at Stevenson University’s Mustangs Stadium.
Trevor Patschorke scored three goals for Severna Park (20-0 overall), and Jack Thomas added two scores. Spencer Knife finished with a hat trick for Churchill.
Thomas’ goal with 3.1 seconds left in regulation was the difference for the Falcons, who became the first back-to-back 4A/3A champ since they pulled feat in 2007 and 2006. The Anne Arundel County school extended its winning streak to 37 dating to last season.
No. 37 was a grind. The Falcons didn’t score their first goal until the second quarter. They didn’t lead for 47 minutes and 56.9 seconds.
“I’m really proud of how we fought back. We kept them close,” said Severna Park coach Dave Earl. “I felt we weren’t getting the bounces or the breaks. The fact we kept it within a couple of goals was huge for us.”
Trailing 3-0 in the first quarter, Severna Park pulled even three times, the last at 6 after Patschorke’s unassisted tally with 1:53 left in regulation. After a series of turnovers, Josh Coffman got a groundball with about 18 seconds remaining. The Falcons missed wide on a shot and called timeout with 9.1 seconds left.
Starting from his left from behind the goal for the restart, Thomas went to his right behind the goal. The junior cut inside and fired a shot past Churchill goalie Alex Crombie.
“I knew that with 9.1 seconds left I had to go to the goal right away,” said Thomas. “There was no slide, so I just went to the goal.”
Severna Park coach Dave Earl said the play was designed for either Steven Zichelli or Patschorke, but both were covered. Thomas’ goal was his 36th of the season.
“Jack just took an opportunity,” said Earl. “Their goalie really wasn’t giving us much.”
Averaging 17 goals per game and winning eight of its last nine decisions by double-digits, Severna Park was stymied Wednesday by Churchill, seeking Montgomery County’s first state boys’ title. The Potomac school got goals from Jack Taylor, Knife and Reed Moshyedi.
Patschorke, who’s committed to UMBC, finally got Severna Park on the board with 8:13 left in the second quarter. The Falcons pulled even for the first time at 4 as Thomas finished a pass from Coffman for an extra-man goal with 3:38 remaining in the third.
“We came out a little nervous, a little flat. We kind of got away from the things that we do that made us what we are,” said Earl. “I’m really proud of how we bounced back in the second half. We went back to the fundamental things we preached in practice.
Churchill regained the lead as slipped a shot past Falcons goalie Shane Carr (eight saves) with a second left in the quarter. The Falcons got an extra-man opportunity early in the fourth and Patschorke converted, tying the match at 5.
“We showed great character tonight. We played from behind the entire game,” said Patschorke. “It really showed the work we’ve put in the offseason, from March 1 all the way through. It really paid off for us.”
Earl, who commended his defensive unit, said come-from-behind victories against MIAA A programs Severn School and Archbishop Spalding prepared Severna Park for Wednesday’s defining moment. The Falcons are 37-2 over the last two seasons.
“Last year was tough, but this year was tough too,” said Earl. “I can’t say enough about our playes and the support from our adminstration this year. It’s been awesome.”
Class 4A state boys’ lacrosse championship
at Stevenson University
No. 4 Severna Park 7, Winston Churchill 6
Goals: Severna Park – Patschorke 3, Thomas 2, Chung, Cope; Churchill – Knife 3, Leonard, Moshyedi, Taylor
Assists: Severna Park – Chung, Coffman; Churchill – Gibson
Saves: Severna Park – Carr 8; Churchill – Crombie 9
Severna Park 0 2 2 3 – 7
Churchill 3 0 2 1 – 6