Baltimore Sun

New attack brings same results

Severna Park opens season with blowout win over Glenelg

- By Glenn Graham Assists: Saves: Half:

After losing the majority of last year’s powerful offense to graduation, six-time defending state champion Severna Park boys lacrosse enters this season with some rare concerns.

In Tuesday’s season opener at Glenelg, the No. 8 Falcons showed they have plenty of candidates ready to step up.

Sophomore attackman Tim Sullivan and senior midfielder Kevin Bredeck each scored three goals and Severna Park opened with the game’s first eight in claiming a confidence-boosting 11-3 win over the Gladiators.

In all, eight Falcons had at least a goal or an assist, while the experience­d defense got dominant play from senior Evan Stroble and 10 saves from senior goalie Ashby Shepherd.

As is the case in most early season games, Severna Park had some spotty play. But the good — particular­ly the balanced attack led by a host of newcomers — outweighed any bad.

“It’s definitely reassuring for the rest of the year,” said senior midfielder Ryan LaRocque, who contribute­d one goal and two assists. “The effort was obviously there, but we definitely have things to improve on going forward for the year. The new players played great.”

Severna Park coach Dave Earl pointed to several varsity newcomers who contribute­d to the win. From the start, the Falcons didn’t look like they had an entirely new cast playing on attack.

On their third possession, Jack Fish (two goals) got to open space in front and buried a shot for a 1-0 lead with 7:04 to play in the first quarter. Bredeck made it 2-0 just 30 seconds later, and then LaRocque took a pass from Andrew Myers on the right side and whipped a well-placed shot low past Glenelg sophomore goalie Zach Coughlin (eight saves) to push the lead to 3-0 a few minutes later.

The Falcons’ lead grew to 8-0 when Bredeck scored his second goal with 7:34 left in the third quarter. Severna Park’s defense, which fended off a key man-advantage chance late in the first quarter, didn’t budge in helping build the overwhelmi­ng advantage.

Shepherd understand­s the Falcons will have to lean on their experience on defense while the new attack continues to settle in. So far, so good. Defensemen Talan Livingston and Brett Hussey also put in a strong showing Tuesday.

“We have a great group returning,” Shepherd said. “It’s all about showing a good example for the younger guys who are rotating in and making sure we’re all on the same page. Me being the backbone of that — I definitely think we did a good job today.”

Despite the loss, Glenelg coach Josh Hatmaker welcomed the early season test against such a proven program. The Gladiators

struggled with shot selection in the first half and, while junior midfielder­s Chris Iannarino and Conner Hammond often held their own on faceoffs, it was the Falcons who mostly ended up with the ball in the middle of the field.

Down 8-0, the home team showed character in going on a three-goal spurt, as Cole Hammond, Brandon Klopp and Tim Iannarino scored in a five-minute stretch to cut the lead to 8-3 with 1:12 to play in the third quarter. But the Falcons responded quickly when Fish scored in the final minute of the quarter to end the Gladiators’ run.

“I thought in the third quarter, the kids responded defensivel­y and offensivel­y and that was something we didn’t do last year,” Hatmaker said.

“You see the [Falcons’] speed, you see the way they play defense, the way they slide and the way they move the ball and it’s something that I told our kids: ‘This is something we can learn from not just from our mistakes, but you see the caliber that it has to be.’ It’s always good to face them — I wish we won a little more — but that’s a great program.”

Both teams return to action Friday with league home openers. Glenelg hosts Reservoir at 5:30 p.m. in Howard County play with the Falcons opening their Anne Arundel County slate against North County at 6:45 p.m.

Goals: SP—Sullivan 3, Bredeck 3, Fish 2, Burkhardt 2, LaRocque; G—Col. Hammond, Klopp , Iannarino. SP—LaRocque 2, Myers 2, Grizzle, Reed; G—LaPointe. SP—Shepherd 10; G—Coughlin 8. SP, 6-0

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