Before, during and after the Severna Park boys lacrosse team’s home game against Kent Island on March 27, the Falcons were preaching focus, adherence to the game plan and executing with precision.
Junior attackman Mikey Harmeyer put it like this: “When we stick to the course and have good ball movement and play as a team and play really disciplined, that’s when the good looks start coming and we really start scoring.”
Senior Matt Alton said the defense maintains a similar mindset: “If we talk and focus, it keeps everyone playing together.”
The mentality translated to the scoreboard. Severna Park produced disciplined execution on offense and clean communication on defense to run over the visiting Buccaneers with a 13-3 victory.
Harmeyer led all scorers with 5 goals, Jimmy Maher had 2 goals and 3 assists, Kurt Klaus had 2 goals, Shane Carr made 9 saves, and the Falcons moved to 2-0 to start the 2019 year.
Still very early in the 2019 campaign, it was easy for coach Dave Earl to like what his Falcons delivered in the winning effort.
“I thought in the first half we played really well offensively, and defensively we were playing like us,” he said. “I thought we got away from that in the second half a little bit, which can be easy to do when you have a lead. We’ve got to work on staying the course and playing Severna Park lacrosse for 48 minutes.”
Even a minute or two of lapsed play didn’t offer much respite for the visiting Bucs, who were greeted with a 5-0 Falcon scoring barrage to open the game. Harmeyer dodged two defenders to feed Connor Panepianco for the game’s opening score. He followed with a dizzying flurry of moves for the Falcons’ second goal: a hesitation, shot fake, dive toward goal and corner snipe to make it 2-0. Klaus scored unassisted, and Maher scored off a pass from Kyle Griffith. Joseph Killpatrick closed the first quarter by scooping up a rebound and punching it into net for a 5-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Harmeyer scored from an almost impossible angle before Klaus netted a long-distance crank. Harmeyer scored twice more in the quarter — one high, one low — on dodges from the left side, and Severna Park led 9-1 at half.
Harmeyer scored 10 goals in the Falcons’ 18-0 win over Northeast, tying the program’s single-game record previously set by Trevor Patschorke, and has 15 goals in two games.
He said he’s never reached that total in a two-game stretch in his life, even playing with Green Hornets.
“It’s been a lot of fun, but my teammates get me in the right position to shoot the ball and score, so I owe it all to them,” Harmeyer said. “Practicing every single day, we come out focused with the mentality to win. I put that on my teammates for them allowing me to be successful.”
On the defensive end, the core group of Alton, juniors Mark Bredeck, Trent Bellotte and Ben Morgan and senior Niles Tinsley kept Kent Island largely frustrated. Buccaneer possessions became fruitless wheel-spinning that ended in stick checks, double teams and ground balls. When Kent Island was able to get a look, senior goalkeeper Carr was in position, stonewalling the Bucs with a collection of excellent saves.
Alton praised Carr’s leadership and the ability of the defense to work together.
“I think a lot of the time it’s the focus we put into practice,” said Alton. “Having both me and Shane back there to lead the defense just helps everybody a lot. Shane has always been really good at, if something bad happens, getting the defense back up on their feet and getting us ready. That has rubbed off on me and the other defenders too, which is really good to have.”
Kent Island scored twice in the third quarter, but sophomore Colin Shadowens did well winning face-offs, and the Falcon offense went back to work. Killpatrick scored a second goal, and Maher scored and assisted on goals by Harmeyer and Cameron Bear.
“With Coach Earl and the coaching, every day at practice we try to be as a team and not individuals, and that’s even what he said to us at halftime,” said Maher. “We just need to play as a team. We stick to that, and that’s why I think we are so successful, because we just to what we’re supposed to do and keep it flowing.”
Casey Fox came on for Carr in the fourth quarter and cleanly saved all three of the shots that came his way, and the Falcons shut out the Bucs in the frame to close the 13-3 win.
Earl was unconcerned by personnel turnover from graduation in the midfield and defensive units for a program that has experienced tremendous success and continuity while winning state championships in the last three seasons.
“We’ve got a system, and it’s next man up,” said Earl. He noted the team doesn’t look ahead. “We don’t talk about season goals,” he said. “It’s just about getting better every day.”
Maher, Alton and Harmeyer showed no interest in celebrating the victory or worrying about whom else might contend for the county or region this spring.
“We’re just playing every game one game at a time and not looking ahead and treating every team like they’re going to be the hardest team we play,” said Maher.
“Practicing every single day,” said Harmeyer, “we come out focused with the mentality to win.”
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