Top-ranked Severna Park completed a 15-0 regular season with a 4-0 victory over South River in the Anne Arundel County field hockey championship game yesterday at Old Mill High.
The Falcons, the defending Maryland 3A champions, won the county title game for the ninth straight season and gave longtime coach Lil Shelton her 420th career win.
Junior Tara Gardner, the county's leading scorer, notched her 27th goal of the season seven minutes into the game to give Severna Park a 1-0 lead. Senior Abbi Horn (three assists) fed sophomore Amanda Himmelheber for a 2-0 lead later in the first half, and senior Kim Kral made it 3-0 with a powerful penalty corner shot from the top of the circle 19 seconds before halftime.
"Once a team gets that third goal it almost deflates your ball club," said Kral, who has eight goals this season. "They stayed in there and played hard but that third goal was kind of the backbreaker."
Senior Keri Fisher scored on a smash from about five yards 10 minutes into the second half to complete the scoring.
South River dropped to 11-3 entering next week's playoffs. Severna Park has outscored its opponents 94-2 and will likely break its own state record for goals in a season (98), which it set in 2003. "A lot of [their success] has to do with our senior class," said Kral. "We've played indoor [hockey] together, won nationals [as a club team] together, been together since the seventh grade. We just mesh together as a strong unit." . . .
Left midfielder Catherine Denkler had two goals and two assists to lead No. 3 St. Stephen's/St. Agnes over host Episcopal, 4-1, in Alexandria. Junior forward Lizze Rupp also had a goal and an assist. Denkler, a sophomore, is learning to play the game at an advanced pace, according to St. Stephen's/St. Agnes Coach Marsha Way.
"She's getting stronger and better every game, and it's great to see it coming on as we get ready for our league tournament," said Way.
Trouble at Urbana
Four starters on the 11th-ranked Urbana football team were dismissed this week for disciplinary reasons, Coach Dave Carruthers said.
Neither Carruthers nor Athletic Director Jeannie Prevosto would identify the players nor comment on the reason for the dismissals. But Carruthers said the players were not expelled from school.
"We have a saying around here: 'Losers make excuses, winners make adjustments,' " Carruthers said. "We're going to make adjustments. The kids are upbeat. They are not going to let this interfere with their season."
It's the second time this season the Maryland 3A playoff-bound Hawks (7-0, 4-0 MVAL Chesapeake Division) have dismissed players for disciplinary reasons. In September, three players were kicked off the team, including two starters.
The Hawks play at Westminster tonight.
This week's dismissals were first reported in yesterday's Frederick News-Post.
Castor to Towson
Linganore senior Matt Castor, the Washington area's second-leading rusher with 1,346 yards and 18 touchdowns in seven games, has unofficially committed to play for Towson, Lancers Coach Rick Conner said.
After helping lead Linganore to the Maryland 3A title last season, Castor twice has rushed for more than 300 yards this season, including 322 and four touchdowns in a 47-25 victory over Westminster last week. The Lancers host Winters Mill tonight.
-- Dave Yanovitz, Tarik El-Bashir, Josh Barr and Carl Little