December 14, 2017
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  • The Falcons and Barons battled for 78 scoreless minutes on November 18, but the Bethesda-Chevy Chase boys were able to finish their chance at goal and complete a stunning run to the 4A state title with a 1-0 victory.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    The Falcons and Barons battled for 78 scoreless minutes on November 18, but the Bethesda-Chevy Chase boys were able to finish their chance at goal and complete a stunning run to the 4A state title with a 1-0 victory.
  • The Severna Park boys soccer team absorbed the moments after Saturday's state-final defeat to Bethesda-Chevy Chase.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    The Severna Park boys soccer team absorbed the moments after Saturday's state-final defeat to Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

Severna Park Boys Cap Proud Season With Strong Performance In State-Final Loss

Colin Murphy
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November 19, 2017

BALTIMORE—Anyone who has ever played or followed soccer knows a cold truth: Your team can play really well—really well—and still lose.

It’s a reality that befell the Severna Park boys soccer team on November 18 in the 4A state championship against Bethesda-Chevy Chase at Loyola’s Ridley Athletic Complex. The B-CC Barons endured 80 minutes of Falcon pressure and scored with 90 seconds remaining to win, 1-0, and pluck the title away from a Severna Park team that had run unbeaten through the season with only one goal in mind.

“We played a great game,” said Severna Park head coach Ryan Parisi. “We came out in the second half and created a bunch of opportunities, and we were the better team. There’s no doubt about it. But, it’s the game. It’s a game of inches. One inch one way, maybe it’s a different outcome. BCC did a great job staying in it, they created an opportunity and finished their chance. Hats off to them.”

To call the Barons’ victory lucky or undeserved would be unfair. Bethesda-Chevy Chase (14-3-3), which spent most of the season unranked and started the region playoffs as the No. 3 seed, were on a momentous giant-slaying streak, having knocked off higher-seeded Walt Whitman, Winston Churchill and Gaithersburg to win the brutal 4A West before defeating another favorite, Sherwood, in the semifinal.

But Saturday’s win over Severna Park—the Barons’ sixth straight shutout—was a new high. The Falcons were riding a 19-game unbeaten streak since last year’s semifinal loss to Bel Air, had spent all season as the state’s top-ranked team, and they had all the pieces in place to crown an undefeated year with a title. Severna Park (18-1-1) carried the better of play for most of the game, particularly in the second half, and twice nearly took leads in the latter 40 miutes only to be denied each time by B-CC goalie Bennett Schwartz. Schwartz dived to stop a penalty kick by Drew Belloff, who had skillfully drawn a foul in the box, and Schwartz came tearing out of the box on a subsequent breakaway by Belloff to punch away the striker’s left-footed shot.

“There were a bunch of opportunities, and at the end of the day, I didn’t finish the ones I should have, so that’s that,” said Belloff. “And then, the game could go either way, one or the other, so that’s what happened.”

The Falcons’ Ryan Muldoon made a run onto a pass a few minutes later and finished his shot, but was called offside.

With a minute and a half left, a B-CC shot came into the box, deflected off the defense and was saved by Severna Park keeper Sam Farrell. The rebound fell right to the Barons’ Liam Brocker, who scored on the open net from a yard out.

The loss was an ill-fitting end to a remarkable run for the Falcons. Severna Park improved on last year’s loss in the state semifinals by returning to the state tournament for a 22nd time—tied for the most in Maryland with Bowie, who the Falcons defeated 2-0 in the semifinals—and coming about as close as possible to winning the program’s first title since 2013.  

In an increasingly competitive state, players and coaches reconciled the loss with the status the program sustains as a perennial state contender.

“It’s the guys, the guys that come in,” said Parisi. “They aim high. They’re motivated every day to come out and work hard and not just be content at winning a couple games. It’s every guy, the guys sitting here to the all guys in the locker room that just lay it all on the line. From a coaching standpoint, all you can ask for is players that just want to compete and give it everything, and that’s what we have.”

Muldoon, a senior, echoed sentiments many players have expressed throughout the season of the special bonds formed playing in the program.

“It’s how close we are together,” said Muldoon. “We don’t just go to practice and then go home and don’t hang out with each other. We’re all best friends. I love every guy in that locker room, and I care so much for them. We are all so close, and we all just want to fight for each other.”


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