With a double-digit lead in the Maryland 4A/3A state semifinals and her team well on its way to reaching a third state title game in four years, Severna Park’s Carin Peterson was still coaching. She scribbled on her whiteboard at timeouts, followed her offense up and down the sideline and yelled herself hoarse as she positioned attackers.
Lopsided score aside, Peterson is aware of a terrifying fact the Falcons’ competition has found out: Her all-underclassmen attacking corps — in the midst of an offensive eruption in a 17-2 win over Whitman — could still get better.
All season, the Falcons relied on three sophomores and two freshmen on attack, a combination that led to double-digit scoring in 14 of 17 games. At Northeast High School in Pasadena on Friday, freshmen and sophomores combined for 13 of the Falcons’ goals, with nine coming from sophomores Laura Milleker and Eva Klaus .
“Scoring is going to come from underclassmen, which is nice,” Peterson said. “We’ve been young there all year long, and you can still hear us yelling and screaming at them all game.”
Klaus, who scored four goals, has emerged as a force on draws throughout the season, and she turned in one of her most dominant showings Friday. Bolstered by a height advantage over her challengers from Whitman (13-3), Klaus won seven of the first nine draw controls, sparking the Falcons (15-2) to a 9-0 lead after 15 minutes.
She and Milleker, friends since they played club lacrosse together in middle school, used those possessions to take the early advantage.
“Carin’s always just told [us] to work together a lot,” Klaus said. “We’ve been trying to do that a lot more this season, and I think it’s coming along pretty well.”
Klaus (46 goals) and Milleker (42 goals) led the Falcons in scoring during the regular season, combining for more than 47 percent of the team’s goals. Even on a team with five seniors bound for Division I programs, the sophomore tandem emerged for Severna Park, which will meet Sherwood or Catonsville in the state title game.
“They played as freshmen, so the expectations for them were high,” Peterson said. “They know the system, and they’re just players. They come to play, and Eva’s done it all year long on the draw, which is critical for us.”
Senior Kelsey Kirk added two goals for the Falcons, who controlled the ball so consistently they needed little help from standout senior goalie Rachel Vander Kolk, whose upcoming graduation could provide a little consolation to teams watching the ascent of the Falcons’ young attack.
On Friday, freshman Sarah Elms added two goals, and sophomores Annie Echeverria and Lillian Ross added one each.