Mark it down.
With 2 minutes 41 seconds remaining in Tuesday's Anne Arundel County championship game, Severna Park's boys' team got its swagger back.
It was at that moment that the Falcons scored the final goal of their 11-7 victory over previously unbeaten and then-top-ranked Broadneck. But it wasn't just an ordinary goal. "It was a thing of beauty," first-year Severna Park coach Jim Beardmore said.
The Falcons (11-4) were one man down after a penalty, but they knocked the ball loose from Broadneck and senior defenseman Tommy Zichelli scooped it up. Zichelli raced across midfield, did a 360-degree spin to get past a Broadneck player and then threw a behind-the-back pass to junior attackman Ben Hunt. Without hesitation, Hunt swung the ball to sophomore attackman Frank Taglienti, who was behind the cage, and Taglienti zipped it to senior midfielder Billy Hill, who one-timed it for a score.
"That was great," said senior Andrew Lusby. "We were finally playing as a team. Putting it all together."
The goal capped a performance that was in direct contrast to the Falcons' regular season loss to Broadneck, after which Beardmore criticized his players for being selfish. Tuesday's performance was also a reversal from the team's regular season finale that took place just 24 hours before the county championship. In that game, the Falcons were upset by a 7-7 Chesapeake team in a game Beardmore called "a nightmare."
Severna Park's inconsistent performances during the regular season were the result of the team adjusting to a new coach and a new system for the third time in as many years. But if the county championship game is any indication, the Falcons are hitting their stride at the perfect time.
Broadneck (14-1) could get a chance to avenge its lone loss of the season on Monday. If the Bruins and Severna Park both win their Maryland 4A/3A East Region quarterfinal contests Saturday (both have first-round byes), they would meet in the semifinals.
Severna Park and Broadneck have played eight times in the last four seasons, with the Falcons winning six, including last year's 4A/3A East Region final. Five of the games the last four seasons were decided by two goals or fewer.
"If we end up playing them, it's going to be a war," Severna Park goalie Mike Gvozden said.