The accomplishments of Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Severna Park on Saturday may have put the exclamation mark on each team's claim to be field hockey's team of the decade.
B-CC won its sixth consecutive Maryland state title at Goucher College in Towson and its eighth of the 1990s with a 2-1 victory over Mount Hebron in the Maryland 2A final. Severna Park took its seventh championship of the decade, and third in a row, with a 2-1 victory over Whitman in the 4A title game.
The schools have combined to win 33 state championships. Severna Park Coach Lil Shelton has earned 12 state titles, far and away the leader in that department. B-CC Coach Amy Wood won her sixth state title.
The schools' dominance is staggering. B-CC finished 18-1 and outscored opponents 79-6 this season, including 14 shutouts. The Barons' only loss, interestingly enough, was a 2-1 decision to Severna Park. The Falcons (18-2) outscored opponents 87-15, with nine shutouts.
"In a large part, it's the tradition of the program for [both schools]," Wood said. "We attract the better athletes. The success just builds because kids want to be a part of the success, and it makes people want to work harder."
Severna Park has been helped by a junior program in its area that Shelton started for girls ages 7 to 17. By the time they come to Shelton and the Falcons, it's not uncommon to see players who have played the game for years.
Saints Roll in VISL
St. Stephen's/St. Agnes, which before this season had won the previous two Independent School League championships, felt it needed a bigger challenge this postseason. So the Saints skipped the ISL's tournament to play in the Virginia Independent School League tournament. The goal was two leagues, two titles.
One out of two is not bad.
The Saints edged St. Catherine's of Richmond, 1-0, on Saturday to win the VISL tournament. Although the Saints finished the season 17-2, one of their losses was to ISL foe Holton-Arms, which won the league championship and tournament.
Senior forward Julia Vinyard capped a remarkable season by scoring the winning goal 19 minutes into the first half. Vinyard had five of St. Stephen's/SA's eight goals during the three-game tournament and finished the season with 23 goals, breaking the previous school record of 21.
Saints Coach Marsha Way also praised senior halfback Molly Jenkins, who was named the tournament MVP. "She was everywhere," Way said.
But Way said she came away with an enhanced opinion of private school field hockey in Virginia outside of the Washington area.
"The top five teams [in the VISL], I'd love to see them come up and play some of the ISL schools," Way said. "I think some of the ISL schools would be surprised."