April 22, 2018
Sports
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  • Josh Coffman (41) roared in celebration after a second-quarter goal on Tuesday against Spalding. The Falcons opened their new stadium turf with a 13-12 win over the Cavaliers as part of the Public-Private Boys Lacrosse Challenge.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Josh Coffman (41) roared in celebration after a second-quarter goal on Tuesday against Spalding. The Falcons opened their new stadium turf with a 13-12 win over the Cavaliers as part of the Public-Private Boys Lacrosse Challenge.
  • Mikey Harmeyer celebrated a goal for Severna Park as the Falcons came out on top of Spalding, 13-12.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Mikey Harmeyer celebrated a goal for Severna Park as the Falcons came out on top of Spalding, 13-12.
  • Dean Draughn (11) was congratulated by teammates Jack Thomas (18) and Hans Hansen (4) after Thomas assisted Draughn's goal in the third quarter on Tuesday.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Dean Draughn (11) was congratulated by teammates Jack Thomas (18) and Hans Hansen (4) after Thomas assisted Draughn's goal in the third quarter on Tuesday.

Severna Park Boys Top Spalding In High-Powered Showdown, 13-12

Colin Murphy
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March 28, 2018

This article will appear with additional exclusive photos and updated info in the April print edition of the Severna Park Voice.

Coming into Tuesday night’s showdown between Severna Park and Archbishop Spalding in the boys lacrosse Public-Private Challenge at Severna Park High School, the Cavaliers were trying to become the first team to defeat the Falcons since they accomplished that feat in this same matchup a little over two years ago.   

Severna Park wasn’t having it.

Jack Thomas scored his second goal of the night with 46 seconds left to lift the Falcons over the Cavaliers, 13-12, in front of a spirited crowd that saw Severna Park christen its brand-new stadium turf field with a crosstown rivalry win.

“It’s awesome to play against people you know and get to compete,” said Thomas. “It’s a great atmosphere out here. And to get to play against an MIAA school, it’s a good competitive atmosphere and a lot of fun.”

In order to get the program’s 38th consecutive win dating back to the 2016 season, Severna Park had to dig out of an early hole. The Cavaliers flexed a level of offensive muscle befitting a team in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference—perhaps the nation’s top high school boys lacrosse league—by racing out to an early 5-1 lead. Cavaliers Nathan Hutcheson, Russell Melendez and Will Sherwood, all Severna Park residents, tallied goals, as did Cole Llewellyn. Sherwood’s second score opened the second quarter and gave the Cavaliers a four-goal lead.

Severna Park coach Dave Earl said the team had to adjust on the fly, and the boys were able to change gears.

“[Spalding] had the energy early, and I’m not sure we had the matchups right,” said Earl. “We made a ton of adjustments, and the kids did a great job with that. That seemed to help us.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park vs. Archbishop Spalding boys lacrosse, 3.27.18

Two goals apiece by Severna Park’s Chase Cope and Michael Harmeyer and one by Josh Coffman were interrupted only by another by Melendez, and Severna Park leveled the game 6-6 by halftime. Thomas assisted on both of Harmeyer’s scores, and Cope assisted Coffman’s.

The Cavaliers took a two-goal lead in the third when longstick defenseman Sean Morrison went unchecked to the cage after controlling the faceoff 60 yards away, and Llewellyn scored off a pass from Niklas McFarland to make it 8-6 Spalding’s way.

But the second half saw continued adjustments by Severna Park as Coffman slid back from his normal attackman post into a longstick middie role. Freshman faceoff specialist Colin Shadowens and the Falcon offense reaped the benefits as Severna Park did better controlling the midfield in the second half.

“Ground balls were key,” said Thomas. “We started winning face-offs and getting the ball into our offensive end, so that helped a lot.”

Coffman secured one of those ground balls with a long stick and went nearly the length of the field for a score, a touché to Morrison’s goal. Dean Draughn scored off an assist from Thomas. Coffman scored unassisted, this time with a short stick, and Thomas intercepted a Spalding clearance and scored unassisted. Thomas found Draughn again for a 10-8 Severna Park lead after three quarters.

Severna Park freshman goalkeeper Will Bray, filling in for regular starter Shane Carr (illness), made two great saves to open the fourth quarter and preserve the Falcons’ lead.

The advantage grew to 11-8 on Coffman’s fourth goal of the night to open the fourth quarter. Llewellyn pulled one back for the Cavs, but Hans Hansen responded with an unassisted score for Severna Park to make it a 12-9 lead.

Backs against the wall with eight minutes to play, the Cavs grinded their way to three straight goals to tie the game. Joshua Tang, McFarland and Llewellyn each found the net to tie the game at 12-12 with 1:46 to play.

The Falcons came up with the biggest ground ball of the night on the ensuing faceoff and called timeout to talk over their offensive set. Their first shot misfired, but Thomas corralled the miss, creeped up from behind the goal and saw a one-on-one opportunity.

“We were going to run an invert, and I just saw I had the pole, and there was an open left side, so I just decided to take him to up to five and five, and I just turned and shot it,” said Thomas.

His shot, reminiscent of his last-second game-winner in last spring’s 4A state championship game, found the net to give the Falcons a 13-12 advantage.

Spalding controlled the faceoff and called a timeout with 26 seconds to play, but Bray stonewalled the Cavaliers’ final shot attempt, cleanly catching the Spalding shot and hurling the ball downfield as time expired. Bray finished with six saves.

“I’m just really proud of how we fought,” said Earl. “We followed the game plan for the most part. Had a couple little breakdowns, but we recovered from that. Especially proud of our freshman goalie Will [Bray], he stepped in there, and that’s a big game for him, and he made a big save at the end.”

Coffman, who was a sophomore member of the team when the Falcons last lost a game, a 7-6 defeat to Spalding on March 24, 2016, before the team’s current remarkable streak of 38 straight wins and two state championships, said the Falcons were not deterred by the early deficit they faced.

“I think that’s what Severna Park lacrosse is,” he said. “We always stick with it, even when we’re down. We’ve been in that same position. We were in the same position against them last year and the year before. Sometimes, it doesn’t turn out our way, but we’re going to keep fighting ‘til the end. You can count on that.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park vs. Archbishop Spalding boys lacrosse, 3.27.18


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