Severna Park field hockey wins battle of unbeatens

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Arundel-Severna Park field hockey

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A collection of images from field hockey games in fall 2017.

Severna Park topped Arundel 2-1 in their field hockey clash at Carroll Field Wednesday, in an early-season matchup of two of the county’s best teams.

Both the Falcons and Wildcats entered the game unbeaten. Severna Park (5-0) stayed that way on the back of Emme Sayers’ two goals. Arundel (3-1-1) has now sustained a tie and a loss after entering the week 3-0.

Severna Park generally controlled possession and went on the attack more during the first half. Sayers’ first goal came about eight minutes and 20 seconds into the game, as she scored it in a scrum near the goal after the ball rebounded off Arundel goalie Tia Lysse. Lila Slattery, who took the prior shot, was credited with the assist.

Arundel came back a minute later when it secured the first corner attempt of the game for either team. After the corner led to a missed shot and some back-and-forth struggling, Caroline Keane pushed the ball past goalie Celia Krohn to knot the score at 1.

But Sayers struck again at the 13:20 mark of the half, despite strong individual defensive efforts from the Wildcats’ Sarah Pique, Meghan Malone and Delaney Norr, which continued throughout the game.

The score froze at 2-1 for the rest of the game. Neither team scored in the second half—just as it happened in Arundel’s tie against St. Mary’s on Monday and Severna Park’s Tuesday victory over Glenelg,

Sayers said the Falcons’ hot start has been important and “powerful” for their chemistry.

“But at the same time, we’re talking a lot about not getting our heads too high and things like that, because we don’t want to jinx ourselves and think we’re so much better,” Sayers added. “So it’s a plus and a minus, but I think it’ll really work in our favor for the playoffs.”

Falcons head coach Ann Andrews, meanwhile, had a different outlook about starting 5-0.

“It scares me,” Andrews said, “because when you go undefeated, everybody wants to beat you. And we’re already Severna Park, so everybody already wants to beat us.”

Andrews was particularly happy with the Falcons’ performance, considering it was their second game in as many days.

“Every day’s a new challenge, and I think in this county, it’s anybody’s game any day,” she said. “There’s so much competition, there’s so many great coaches, that, I mean, right now the wind is going our way, but that wind could shift tomorrow.”

To that point, Andrews thought Arundel “looked fantastic,” particularly Pique.

Arundel head coach Carrie Vosburg added to that praise of her sophomore defender, saying Pique is “very patient, a very smart player, just comes up with the ball and makes things happen.”

Vosburg said she is giving the Wildcats Thursday off—their first day off since the season began.

“Truthfully, it’s a break. We need a break, (then) come back and get prepared for the next game. We have two hard games again next week,” Vosburg said, adding Arundel’s schedule is “front-loaded” this season.

The coach was happy that her team played a better game than Monday against St. Mary’s. After Wednesday’s loss, Vosburg said she reminded her captains that “it’s only week two” of the regular season.

The teams were evenly matched, with a few exceptions. Severna Park got several more shots off, while Arundel’s defense used their sticks much better. Another way the Falcons and Wildcats were far from equal: There are 11 seniors on Severna Park’s roster, while Arundel graduated 11 last year and are much younger in 2017.

“If we look this good in week two after graduating 11 seniors, we’re doing something right,” Vosburg said.

Both teams have the rest of the week off. Arundel will face Glenelg Sept. 19, while Severna Park will return the same afternoon to play Atholton.

Severna Park 2, Arundel 1

Goals: SP — Sayers 2; AR — C. Keane.

Assists: SP — Slattery.

Saves: SP — Krohn 3; AR — Lysse 8.

Half: Severna Park, 2-1

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