November 18, 2017
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  • Severna Park's Drew Belloff (23) received congratulations from teammates after his third goal during Tuesday's 4-0 victory over Leonardtown in a driving wind and rain in the 4A East region final at Kinder Park. The Falcons are making their 22nd state tournament appearance.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Severna Park's Drew Belloff (23) received congratulations from teammates after his third goal during Tuesday's 4-0 victory over Leonardtown in a driving wind and rain in the 4A East region final at Kinder Park. The Falcons are making their 22nd state tournament appearance.

Region Champs: Severna Park Boys Are Back In The State Tournament With 4-0 Win Over Leonardtown

Colin Murphy
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November 8, 2017

There were already too many “oohs” and “ahs” in the sequence for it to get any better. Severna Park forward Drew Belloff had just left four Leonardtown defensive players in his wake as he dribbled down the left alley and cut back across the center of the field. The first defender fell down, like the turf had been pulled from under him, unable to keep up with Belloff’s change in direction. Another did a bewildered 360 as Belloff sent a pass to himself, putting the ball around one side of the player and meeting back up with it on the other side. The next two defenders, charging to stop him, practically crashed into each other, like some kind of cartoon, as Belloff skipped through them towards the face of the net.

Ending this preposterous chain of highlights with a goal would just be too much.

It wasn’t too much for Belloff, however, as the striker’s shot into the upper right corner of the net—his third goal of the game—left Leonardtown’s goalkeeper with no chance of a save, set off a thunderous roar from the Severna Park fans and all but cemented the Falcons’ ticket to the state tournament.

Belloff’s hat trick and a late score by Jack Goode allowed Severna Park to resoundingly defeat the visiting Raiders 4-0 in a driving rain and frigid wind in Tuesday’s 4A East region final at Kinder Park.

The Falcons (17-0-1) are back in the state tournament for a second straight season and the sixth time in the last eight years.

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park boys soccer vs. Leonardtown, 4A East final, 11.7.17

Belloff had given the Falcons leads of 1-0 and 2-0 in the first half. He drew a foul by the Raiders’ goalie and sank the penalty for the opening score, then converted a pass from Ryan Muldoon to put Severna Park up 2-0 by halftime.

His third score midway through the second half sent families and classmates watching from the sidelines into a mad did-you-just-see-that celebration.

“I saw there was space to run onto, and I just did the best I could to get the ball on goal, because I had the chance to,” said the understated Belloff, who has a staggering 20 goals on the season for Severna Park. “I knew we were going to get limited chances, and we had to make the most out of each and every one of them.”

In what will likely be the final Severna Park boys varsity soccer game at Kinder Park after a three-year residency—the school’s new turf field and athletic facility will be ready this spring and in full use by the 2018 soccer season—the Falcons made the most of their opportunities and did the reverse to Leonardtown (15-3), a team that had scored 81 goals coming into the game.

The defense clamped down and hardly allowed a single clean chance to Leonardtown in posting a shutout.

“Defensively, individually and collectively, we brought it today,” said head coach Ryan Parisi.

Belloff cited the play of his defense as well: “It’s been really fun this season, and we have to give credit to the defense, because they did an awesome job. [Leonardtown has] some really good players over there, and they barely had any opportunities, so [the defense] did a really good job too.”

The Falcons are in the state tournament for a record 22nd time, as well as the sixth time since 2010. The only other program in Maryland with that many region championships is Bowie, which captured its 22nd region title by beating Laurel, and which the Falcons will face on Saturday in the state semifinals at Henry A. Wise High School, time TBA.

Belloff, a senior, was a member of last year’s team, which reached the state semifinal but fell to Bel Air.

“Hopefully we can do something different than we did last year, and hopefully we play similar to this,” he said.

Parisi reflected on the arc of this group of players and said they are hungry for another crack at the state title that eluded them last season.

“This group, I’ve known the seniors, 16 of them, since they were 7 or 8 years old. Our relationship has grown a lot over the years, going from being a young 24-year-old coach and these guys being 7 or 8 years old. I’ve learned probably just as much from them as they have from me. I just try to stay out of the way,” he said. “Obviously a lot of hard work goes into it, and nothing is given. You have to earn your opportunity every year, and every game is tough.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park boys soccer vs. Leonardtown, 4A East final, 11.7.17


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