Severna Park won the Maryland 4A state title two weeks ago with a 1-0 victory over Blake, a chippy affair in which both sides rarely gave up quality scoring opportunities. It was the type of match the Falcons had grown accustomed to throughout the grind of the last month of the season. In seven games from October 16 to November 15, Severna Park won five times by one goal and twice in overtime – including in the state semifinal against Magruder, when junior Adam Schaeffer converted the game-winner in dramatic fashion.
The state title win over Blake was labeled a “strong defensive performance” by Severna Park Coach Ryan Parisi, who through fundamental teaching has taken the Falcons (17-0-2) to new heights in his two years at the helm, including The Post’s final No. 1 ranking this fall. Pariri is 35-2-2 in his two seasons, with two 4A state championship appearances. More telling than the record is how it has formed; the Falcons outscored opponents 52-12 in 2012, with 13 clean sheets in 20 matches (Severna Park finished 18-2 and lost to Wootton in title match). In 2013, Parisi’s squad was has just as dominant, outscoring opponents 47-12 and recording nine shutouts, including in four of its last five matches. Severna Park allowed two goals in a match twice.
“Our strength was full team 28 guys that were committed to the team and who were committed to defending first, but more importantly each other,” Parisi said. “They did it for each other. They wanted to do it for each other. They put individual goals aside.”
There is a strong soccer tradition at the school (this season’s 4A playoff marked the sixth appearance in seven seasons) and should continue next year behind Parisi, who will return one of the area’s best players in forward Daniel Kwon. The junior scored 16 goals and had five assists in a breakout season, and he’ll be joined by Schaeffer. The Falcons will have to replace key graduating veterans, such as Mike Hofstedt, Austin Spence and Griffin Kowalewski, who Kwon credited with his development following the win over Blake. That foundation will be crucial as a senior next season, he said.
“Griffin, Michael and Austin, they were here when I was a freshman, so they basically adopted me to the team,” Kwon said. “And it feels good to lead them as champions, honestly.”
St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes won eight straight matches to claim the IAC regular season and tournament titles, as well as it’s first VISAA title . . . . Sidwell Friends captured the DCSAA title with wins over Gonzaga and St. Albans. The Quakers outscored opponents 23-7 in their last eight matches. . . . After losing to Walter Johnson in overtime on October 22, Blake responded with one of the best postseason runs in Maryland this season — winning four straight, including a 3-2 overtime thriller over Perry Hall in the 4A North region title match. It was the most successful season in school history for Blake, which made its first appearance in the state title game against Severna Park.
1. Severna Park (17-0-2) LW: 2
2. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (19-2-2) LW: 4
3. Sidwell Friends (16-3-2) LW: 5
4. DeMatha (15-4) LW: 7
5. Blake (15-4) LW: NR
6. River Hill (16-2) LW: 6
7. Marriotts Ridge (14-2) LW: 1
8. Georgetown Prep (11-4-1) LW: 8
9. Reservoir (12-3-2) LW: 3
10. Magruder (12-5-1) LW: NR