The 20-time state champion Severna Park High School field hockey team has become accustomed to winning.
But the 2012 season didn’t end with a state title like the 2011 season did. Instead, it ended with a loss to South River in the region finals. On Friday, the Falcons will have a chance to avenge that loss when they face the Seahawks for the first time since the team handed Severna Park its season-ending loss in overtime on Nov. 3, 2012.
“South River is definitely one of our biggest matchups this season. We need to redeem ourselves from last year,” said senior Colleen Beairsto.
Senior Liz Mata added, “South River is really strong as a team. Those kinds of games are the most fun to play in because you have so much respect for them that it has to be a good game."
Severna Park coach Ann Andrews said the South River game is definitely on everyone’s mind, but there are plenty of other teams they also need to keep on their radar.
The Falcons are off to a strong 4-0 start, including a win against county rival Broadneck, but Andrews said looking at the season as a whole—instead of one or two games—is key.
This year, Andrews said the Falcons are working hard to capitalize on scoring opportunities. She said the team’s diverse skill set should be an added asset to this year’s squad.
“I think there is a lot of diversity in the styles of play, and I think that adds to the depth of the team,” Andrews said. “I think their different styles complement each other.”
Andrews is entering her second season as head coach, after taking over the reins from long-time coach and 20-time state champion Lil Shelton.
Last year, Andrews said she didn’t necessarily feel a lot of pressure because she knew her team as well as the talent in the county. Entering this season, Andrews said she is feeling more pressure from herself, to make sure she is putting her team in a position to succeed.
“When the team falls short sometimes, I need to look at what I can do for them,” Andrews said. “They are brining it to the table, and I need to look at what I am doing for them.”
As the Falcons enter another season with high expectations, Andrews said she does think some of the girls feel the added pressure to succeed, especially the now seniors who were a part of the 2011 state title team.
However, it’s only natural that with success comes added expectations, and Andrews is just glad she gets to work with a group of girls who are coachable, hard working and dedicated to field hockey.
“I’m comfortable with the girls and I love them,” Andrews said. “I feel blessed that I get to work with this group.”
You can catch the Falcon field hockey team in action against South River at 7 p.m. on Friday in Severna Park.