May 20, 2018

Last-second goal lifts Severna Park to second straight 4A/3A boys’ lacrosse state title

Trevor Patschorke (14) operates around a Churchill defender during Wednesday night's Class 4A/3A boys lacrosse state title game at Stevenson University. Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

OWINGS MILLS — There was 9.1 seconds left in the Class 4A/3A boys lacrosse state title game between Churchill and Severna Park at Stevenson University, and Falcons’ attack Jack Thomas — positioned behind the net — had one job to do with everything on the line.

“Just had to go right away,” he said. 

Thomas bolted to the right side of the cage and, when five seconds remained, sealed a Churchill defender to fire a tie-breaking bullet into the back of the net that set Stevenson University unglued. It gave the Falcons their first lead of the night, but it didn’t matter, three seconds was all they needed as the last-second goal lifted Severna Park over Churchill on Wednesday night, 7-6.

With the win, Severna Park (20-0) caps an undefeated season and captures its second state title in as many years. It’s the seventh boys’ lacrosse state championship in school history, and 37th win a row.

“I can’t even describe it right now,” Thomas said. “Pretty speechless.”

The series of events left both sides speechless. While Thomas was lost for words in the presser, Churchill players and coaches and sank to the turf in mesmerization; distraught that another chance to win the school’s first ever state title.

“Couldn’t be able to make a play we’ve made all year,” Churchill coach Jeff Fritz said of Thomas’ goal with three seconds to go. “Just disappointing. … Unfortunately, we didn’t make enough plays. That’s all that it is.”

Despite winning 2 of 15 faceoffs and falling behind 3-0 in the first 11 minutes of regulation, Severna Park dug deep with a suffocating defense and an unrelenting attack, forcing 17 turnovers — 11 in the second half — to outscore Churchill 7-3 in the final 28 minutes of regulation.

“It says a lot about the character of these guys,” Severna Park coach Dave Earl said. “Can’t say enough about our players and the support from the administration. It’s been awesome this year. Hats off to Churchill; extremely good team, very well coached. They had a great gameplan against us, really took advantage of their opportunities. They took us out of our run-and-gun style.”

After Jack Taylor, Spencer Knife (three goals) and Reed Moshyedi propelled the Bulldogs to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, Trevor Patschorke and Chase Cope scored goals within three minutes of each other midway in the second to bring Severna Park within one, 3-2.

Knife gave Churchill some more breathing room in the opening four minutes of the second half, 4-2, with an unassisted goal, but Severna Park responded immediately with a two-goal swing from Cian Chung and Thomas to push it into a stalemate at 4-4. 

For the final 12 minutes, Churchill grabbed one-goal leads twice, only to have it slip away by Severna Park goals from Patschorke, with the latest coming at the 1:53 mark to make it 6-6.

That 1:53 waned to 0:09, with Earl orchestrating the final move in a timeout huddle. Thomas took his ground behind the net, chugged to the right side, sealed, pivoted, and fired. The rest, with another state championship trophy bagged, was history.

About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
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