Carin Peterson talks to her Severna Park team at halftime of the Falcons’ win over Catonsville in a state championship victory May 21. (Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)

Severna Park girls’ lacrosse coach Carin Peterson announced this week she has retired as head coach of the Falcons after 25 years and 12 state championships. The Falcons won their third 4A/3A state championship in four years last week with a 15-5 win over Catonsville.

“Every year you think about it. I’ve been thinking about it for the past few years, and we made our decision as a coaching staff after this season was over,” Peterson said. “It feels great [to go out on top]. It’s a nice way to go out, no doubt about that, but I owe this season all to the girls.”

Peterson said she told her team of her decision to step aside on Tuesday, while the players handed in uniforms.

“It really was a tough process,” Peterson said. “It was probably one of the toughest things I had to do.”

Peterson said she made the decision because “25 years is a long time” and she’s “looking forward to whatever’s next” in her career.

The Falcons’ 10 state titles since 1990 rank in the top five nationally for high school girls’ lacrosse. She has led Severna Park to a 161-24 record since 2005 in one of the most difficult — if not the most difficult — public school leagues in the country.

“Telling the girls and the parents was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but they were just fantastic,” Peterson said. She leaves behind one of the state’s most potent attacks, which will return all of its starters, and a solid midfield to help absorb the loss of standout, Virginia-bound goalie Rachel Vander Kolk.

Both of Severna Park’s most heated 4A/3A conference rivals — South River and Broadneck — also hired new coaches within the past year.