The Arundel girls soccer team made it a priority to drive hard to the goal in Friday's Class 4A East regional semifinal against Anne Arundel County rival Broadneck.
The No. 4 Wildcats' reward was impressive connections for goals in each half, producing a sturdy 2-0 win over the No. 13 Bruins in Gambrills.
Clarissa Kirsch-Downs set up Allison Shaner on the first goal and then scored the insurance goal in the second half.
The Wildcats (16-1) next face South River in the region title game. Arundel had defeated South River, 1-0, in overtime to complete its 14-0 regular season before the Seahawks avenged the loss with a 3-0 win in the county championship game.
"We lost the county championship game to them, 3-0, but we had the same number of opportunities and it was just about finishing. We've been working hard in practice on finishing and we have some momentum coming out of this game," Arundel coach Laura Coe said.
On Friday, the practice paid off. With under five minutes to play in the first half, Shaner made a strong run to the front and redirected a cross sent in from Kirsch-Downs. With 24 seconds left to play, Alissa Marr sent a long cross in from the right side that Kirsch-Downs just got to before Broadneck goalie Cassie Herzig to score from 10 yards.
The Bruins (11-3-2) pressed to get back into the game late, but Arundel goalkeeper Tiffany Dayton-Hegedus, with six saves, played strong throughout and also got help from defender Rebekah Schrier, who alertly cleared a shot from Emily Lord that was headed into the lower corner.
No. 1 McDonogh 4, Severn 0: The host Eagles (16-1) got their 10th shutout in the IAAM A Conference quarterfinals.
No. 9 Fallston 1, Rising Sun 0: Ashley Mozinga scored the game's only goal as the visiting Cougars beat the Tigers.
No. 3 McDonogh 6, Archbishop Spalding 2: Tunde Akinlogotv scored two goals, and Conor Smith, Jack Settleman, Keegan Kelly and Matt Linardi all added goals as the host Eagles (11-2-3) beat the Cavaliers in the final game of league play.
No. 13 St. Paul's 3, Boys' Latin 0: Iliyas Mirza had two assists for the host Crusaders (26-6).
No. 1 Garrison Forest 2, No. 13 Notre Dame Prep 0: The No. 1-seeded Grizzlies got goals from Erica Marshall and Bayly Jarrett within the first five minutes of their Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinal and then relied on an outstanding performance by senior goalie Kendall Kuntz (10 saves) to record a victory over Notre Dame Prep (11-7).
The win earns the defending conference champion Grizzlies their third trip to the final in four years and improves their record to 20-0. The shutout was Kuntz's 15th this season. Garrison Forest will play Bryn Mawr at noon Sunday at Goucher College.
"I thought this was a well-played and well-officiated game," NDP coach Maggie Anton said. "There was a lot of back-and-forth and we had our chances. But they have a killer goalie. A goalie can make a huge difference in a game like this and that goalie is hard to score on."
No. 4 Hereford 2, C. Milton Wright 1: Layne Litsinger scored a goal in the first half and another in the second to lift the Bulls (16-0) over the Mustangs in a 3A North regional final. Caitlin Abbott and Mary Claire Abbott each had an assist on the respective goals. Emily Jachelski scored an unassisted goal in the second half for C.Milton Wright. Goalie Jessie Lynch had two saves for Hereford and Sydney Rhodes had 11 for C. Milton Wright.
No. 5 Bryn Mawr 4, McDonogh 3, 2OT: A penalty called as time expired set up a corner on which Tate DeWeese (two goals) scored the game-winner in the second overtime to lift the host Mawrtians (18-4) over the Eagles (16-4-1) in an IAAM A Conference semifinal. McDonogh's Elizabeth George scored her second goal in the final minute of regulation to force overtime.
Baltimore Sun staff contributed to this article.