Severna Park girls soccer team built to last

rmorse@capgaznews.com

Last year the Severna Park girls’ soccer team got off to a bright start before watching its momentum slip away, resulting in a disappointing campaign that resulted in just five wins.

After dispatching Arundel 4-1 on Wednesday, thanks to a hat trick from Sarah Gellert, the Falcons are off to another solid start but appear to have the foundation for sustained success this season.

“We started off the same way last year, but I think we have a lot more potential this year to go farther in the playoffs,” Severna Park’s Samantha Cremmins said. “The amount of work we are putting in during practices is definitely different.”

Cremmins was influential in the contest, racking up two assists, one of them nearly opening up the scoring.

After the teams went back and forth in the opening ten minutes, the Falcons launched the first play to separate the squads.

Cremmins dashed out to the right into a wide open space where Elizabeth Kiely played her behind the defense for Cremmins to break in and fire it on target, where it was slowed down by Arundel goalkeeper Sammy King but not stopped. Gellert followed up the shot and blasted it home as it trickled toward the net.

The Wildcats rallied to tie 10 minutes later on a top-notch free kick from sophomore Daniela Cabral. She took the kick from the far right sideline and looped it into the left side of the net over the head of the scrambling Falcons keeper.

The Falcons (3-0-1) created more magic up the right wing to go back in front after Cremmins laid out a great ball to a streaking Gellert, who cut back and ripped it into the left side of the net to make it 2-1.

“With practicing throughout the season, we are always playing together and working off each other,” Gellert said. “We have definitely interchanged a lot and I think it’s just going to build. Sam’s an awesome player and we are just trying to make plays in places other than our positions.”

Gellert finished her hat trick just 53 seconds into the second half by muscling through two Wildcat defenders and firing into the lower right corner.

The Falcons completed their scoring when Cremmins made a run up the right and slithered a great ball toward Gellert in the center that forced the lone Wildcat defender between the pair to tap it into her own net.

“They know how to open up,” Severna Park coach Brian Morgan said. “They do well showing for their teammates and just giving options and then it's about recognizing the moments of when to get forward and when to link up.”

The Wildcats (0-4) held serve the remainder of the way and continued to work to create opportunities. Despite the early-season losses, Arundel coach Laura Coe knows her team will be better off for the competition they have faced in the early going.

“One thing I told them was that I was incredibly proud of was the last 30 minutes of the game,” Coe said. “They created opportunities, they didn’t give up and I was really proud of them for maintaining and pushing and persevering. I would rather come into the season playing some really difficult teams to teach us what our weaknesses are, so when we hit our stride midway through the season, we have addressed them. This team is going to be fine. They are very, very good and very skilled.”

The Wildcats got excellent goaltending from Sammy King, who made 10 saves, several of the acrobatic variety, and is showing rapid improvement after an offseason spent working with former Wildcat keeper Sabrina Doherty.

For the Falcons, who also benefited from solid goalie play by Katie Byrd, who made eight saves, as well as great defensive stability from Abby McGuire in the central defense, the matter the rest of the way will be to build the consistency they lacked as the season progressed last year.

“I’m always confident in this group. They work hard, but again it’s a consistency thing,” Morgan said. “Last year we had some good results at the start of the season, but we were’nt able to carry that through and things did’t materialize so this year we need to keep our focus and put in the work every single day at practice and come out each game ready to go.”

Severna Park 4, Arundel 1

Goals: AR — Cabral; SP — Gellert 3, own

Assists: SP — Cremmins 2.

Saves: AR — King 10; SP — Byrd 8.

Half: Severna Park, 2-1

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