OWINGS MILLS — When Ethan Carr came into high school as a freshman, his peers inflated expectations for his graduating class at Severna Park.
Not one, not two, not three, but four state championships were deemed possible with the talent deployed. Entering this year with zero titles in the first three years seemed far too underwhelming for Carr and the rest of the Severna Park boys lacrosse team.
“As a freshman, people would say, ‘Oh, with the talent you guys have, you should be able to win at least three state championships by the time you graduate’,” Carr said. “But we haven’t put in the work. The past three years, the work hasn’t been there.”
This year, however, had a different vibe than the previous three seasons. A fire was lit under the Falcons boys lacrosse team that was hungry to halt the six year absence from hoisting the state champion plaque once again.
On Wednesday night, Severna Park (17-3) capped off a campaign that featured tireless effort and undeniable work ethic to be crowned Class 4A/3A state champions with the dismantling of Howard, 9-3.
“To have it end like that, it’s an amazing feeling,” said Carr, the Army West Point commit. “Almost like a weight lifted off your shoulders bringing the trophy back.”
In the middle of April, Severna Park thumped Howard 13-5 in their ninth game of the season. So when Howard held a 1-0 lead at 6:30 mark in the first quarter, it appeared the tides changed.
Carr took matters into his own hands as 2 minutes and 27 seconds later, he rocketed a goal into the top right corner, sneaking the Falcons’ first score of the contest past standout Howard goalkeeper, Collin McClelland. Carr’s rifle shot would fuel a 7-0 run, in which lasted the next 23 minutes and 7 seconds.
The Falcons moved the ball sharply during their monstrous run, getting two goals from Trevor Patschorke and one goal from Josh Coffman, Paul Ruppert, Cian Chung, and Michael Zichelli.
“Give them credit,” McClelland said, the All-County goaltender who made eight saves. “They’re a terrific shooting team.”
By the waning minutes of the third quarter, Severna Park held a six goal lead, and would put it in cruise control for the rest of the way out.
For Carr, he knew from the first day of practice the 2016 season would be the year that would end the previously underwhelming performances. In 2013 as a freshman, he contributed to the Falcons’ state champion soccer team.
“When you’re on a state championship team, you know the first day,” Carr said. “There’s always a different feel in practice.”
Severna Park head coach Dave Earl said they almost executed their gameplan to perfection — to carry momentum over from their 13 game win-streak, exploit the Howard zone defense, and continue to trust one another on offense.
“This is a testament to what they did,” head coach Dave Earl said. “When you show up and work hard, you do great things.”
Cian Chung added his second goal of the night with 0.6 seconds remaining in the contest. Mark Brunner paced Howard (14-5) with two goals. Severna Park goaltender Barret Castro made four saves.
“It’s something you dream of, like as a kid,” Carr said. “Any sort of championship is a big deal.”