November 23, 2017
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  • (L-R) Sam Kriel, Drew Belloff and Keaton Bathras celebrated Belloff's second-half goal that lifted Severna Park to a 1-0 win over Gonzaga in the second leg of the Don Gregg Invitational on September 2. The Falcons defeated Severn 4-1 the previous day and have started the year 2-0.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    (L-R) Sam Kriel, Drew Belloff and Keaton Bathras celebrated Belloff's second-half goal that lifted Severna Park to a 1-0 win over Gonzaga in the second leg of the Don Gregg Invitational on September 2. The Falcons defeated Severn 4-1 the previous day and have started the year 2-0.

Severna Park Boys Sweep Don Gregg Slate To Start 2-0

Colin Murphy
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September 7, 2017

Out-of-conference matches in the early season serve to acclimate new players into the fold, give everyone some playing experience and get everyone up to game speed.

Of course, a pair of wins over quality opponents doesn’t hurt either.

The Severna Park boys soccer team got its first tastes of victory this season in going 2-0 at the Don Gregg Invitational at South River High School over Labor Day weekend, posting a 4-1 win over Severn on Friday night before outlasting D.C.-based Gonzaga 1-0 on Saturday.

“Two quality opponents that kind of test you in different ways, so it gives a lot of guys opportunities to see what it looks like for them in a game,” said Falcons coach Ryan Parisi, now in his sixth year leading the program. “Obviously I think it was a good start. A close game [against Gonzaga], and a game [against Severn] when we scored on our early chances yesterday, it always helps. We’re just kind of building and talking about one game at a time, focusing on building that next block.

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park boys soccer vs. Gonzaga, 9.2.17

SEE ALSO: Severna Park boys soccer connects generations with community clinic

The Falcons put two blocks of the foundation firmly in place to start the season. Against the Admirals, who the Falcons have beaten five out of six times since 2012, Severna Park scored early and stretched its 2-1 halftime lead out to a 4-1 win. Sam Kriel scored the Falcons’ first goal of the year within the first 15 minutes off an assist from Drew Belloff, and Belloff proceeded to find the goal three more times for a hat trick in the victory. Belloff’s goals came on assists from Keaton Bathras, Ryan Nelson and Gordie Bernlohr, and Sam Farrell notched two saves in goal.

Playing in steady rain on Saturday, the Falcons faced an aggressive Gonzaga side that pushed early and often for a goal. The defense of Ian Musser, Kevin Kobosko, Griffin O’Neill, Max Murphy and Colin Wolfe and midfield of Kriel, Ryan Muldoon and Nathan Carey handled the pressure well, hardly allowing the Eagles any clean looks. Farrell had five saves in the contest, including a diving punch in the second half that deflected Gonzaga’s best chance over the bar.

Moments later, Severna Park took advantage of Gonzaga’s pressure, connecting three quick passes over 80 yards, with Bathras sending the final pass forward to Belloff, who fired a left-footed shot skipping across the wet turf and into the bottom corner for a 1-0 lead.

Severna Park boys soccer is no stranger to excellence, and Parisi believes this year’s squad, with a roster featuring 17 seniors as well as strength and depth at all positions, can have a good year.

“Any time you return that many guys, it gives you a good chance,” he said. “But at the end of the day, they’ve got to earn it. We’ve got to earn it every day, and every game is tough.”

Perhaps no sport in the county is deeper in strength than soccer, so much so that Parisi and the Falcons don’t have games circled on the calendar. The Falcons next three games come against Northern (Calvert County), the always-stout Arundel and South River. The Seahawks drew 1-1 with Gonzaga and shut out Severn in their home tournament games on opening weekend.

“I’m sure it will be all the usual teams,” said Parisi. “Everybody’s gotten so competitive, and soccer as a whole in the county has gotten better, down to all the youth teams have gotten better, and that makes the high schools better and more competitive and more fun.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park boys soccer vs. Gonzaga, 9.2.17

SEE ALSO: Severna Park boys soccer connects generations with community clinic


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