South River 3, Springbrook 0

Kelly Patterson led a parade of South River players down the sideline, where her teammates flashed their new hardware to a frenzied crowd. If possible, this trophy was perhaps more special than the one that preceded it a year ago.

Patterson, one of just five South River seniors, led a superior defensive effort, and Abigail McNair had a goal and an assist as the No. 7 Seahawks defeated Springbrook at the University of Maryland last night, 3-0, to win their second straight Maryland 4A field hockey title.

"It's really extra special because we're the first team in South River to win two straight championships," Patterson. "It's just a great feeling to know you're part of history."

The Seahawks (16-3-1) had a number of factors working against them heading into the season. They had lost an All-Met goalie and four other starters to graduation, and had a new coach in Katie Corcoran.

But Corcoran didn't believe in changing a proven formula. She was an assistant under Laura Hoffner for five years and much of South River's success this season can be attributed to the fact that Corcoran adapted the same practice habits and system as her predecessor.

The Seahawks only improved as the season reached its final stages. Their last loss was a 3-2 overtime defeat to No. 2 Severna Park in the Anne Arundel County championship game. They then outscored their opponents 15-2 in the postseason.

"Being with Laura for five years, I really knew we had the same goal -- winning the state title, going out and knowing we're good enough to win," Corcoran said. This year was no different. We lost five starters and everyone stepped up to the plate."

South River scored its first goal on a wild sequence. A shot came in from the right corner, pulling Springbrook goalie Avian Spiller over to the post. The ball popped off McNair's stick and Adrienne Hunt slapped it in to give South River a 1-0 lead.

"We just wanted to get it in the goal," said McNair who tacked on the second goal late in the game. "It doesn't matter who scores it as long as it gets in there."

Springbrook finished 14-3.

Milley Gregoire, left, celebrates South River's third goal with teammate Ashley Acito; Shannon Connolly senses the end to Springbrook's fine season.