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Girls’ lacrosse: Annapolis upsets Severna Park

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The other 11 Anne Arundel County girls’ lacrosse teams have spent this and most of the past five springs chasing Severna Park. The fourth-ranked Falcons — winners of four of the past five Maryland 4A/3A state titles — entered Friday’s game against Annapolis having won 76 of their last 78 games against county public school competition, including 21 straight.

For at least one night, the upstart Panthers finally caught up, holding Severna Park scoreless in the second half to pull off one of the area’s biggest upsets of the spring. Junior Ana Brandenburg’s goal with about 5 minutes 30 seconds left proved to be the game-winner in the 7-6 victory.

“We’ve improved with every game,” Annapolis Coach Dave Gehrdes said. “Every year you think about being in the mix, and I think as the season has progressed they’ve realized they can be good enough. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Annapolis (10-1-1, 8-1 Anne Arundel) fell to No. 6 Broadneck, 14-6, last Tuesday for its first loss of the season and appeared headed for a second straight setback when it went to halftime Friday down by three goals. But the Panthers dug out of the hole with a gritty defensive effort against an offense loaded with Division I talent.

Junior Madeline Dion (Michigan) and sophomore Bailey Greene scored two goals apiece, and junior goalie Clare McCabe had 13 saves, including a pair in the final minute, to spark the team’s first win over Severna Park (11-1, 8-1) since 1999.

“We were sliding really well,” Gehrdes said of the defensive effort that frustrated the Falcons. “We double-teamed when we needed to and helped each other out nicely, really played as a team. You could hear them talking out there, so I knew they were communicating well.”

Tuesday’s meeting between Severna Park and No. 5 South River figured to decide the county title, but Annapolis’s win tossed out that narrative. The Seahawks (10-2, 9-0) lead the county standings, but they close the regular season with games this week against the Falcons and the Panthers, who currently have one loss apiece. Broadneck (10-2, 7-2) has a pair of one-goal county losses to South River and Severna Park.

If three teams tie with the same mark in county play, overall record would decide the league’s entrant in the District V title game on May 7 against the Howard County champion.

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