South River struggled to find scoring chances in the second half of Monday night's field hockey game against Broadneck. But when Caitlin Blanche finally got one, that was all the Seahawks needed.
Blanche took a pass from Emily Szachnowicz and scored from in front with 6 minutes, 47 seconds remaining, as top-ranked South River held off visiting Broadneck 1-0, in an Anne Arundel County game.
A defending state champion from last year, South River coach Megan Atkinson said her team is going to have a bit of a target on its back. No one is going to make life easy for the Seahawks this season, and Atkinson said her players have to understand that.
"They've got to know that everyone, no matter who it is, we're going to get their best effort," Atkinson said.
That's what happened Monday as Broadneck (3-2, 1-2) pushed South River (4-0, 1-0) at times. The Seahawks played well in the first half and seemed to be taking charge toward halftime.
But Broadneck turned things around after the break, playing aggressive in the second half and creating several scoring chances. Kylie Siegel, Anna Buchanan and Lauren Henderson all had scoring chances in the second half, but South River goalie Naomi Johnson (nine saves) made key stops.
South River finally started to turn things around later in the game. Szachnowicz got the ball to the right of goalie Alyssa Thompson (nine saves) and made a perfect pass to Blanche, who easily knocked it into the open goal. Kayla White also got an assist on the play.
"We tried to keep it together," Blanche said. "If we get flustered, we don't play our best. We just had to play as a team."
The offense could've been flustered because Thompson made a number of tough stops, often coming out into traffic to kick the ball away, especially in the first half.
Broadneck now hasn't beaten South River since 2008, and coach Jen Plack doesn't want her team to be happy with a good effort — especially since the two teams play again next Thursday.
"You can't play as hard as you can and as hard as we did…and be OK with walking away with a 1-0 loss," Plack said. "We know what we need to do."
South River 1, Broadneck 0
Goals: S- Blanche. Assists: S-E. Szachnowicz, White. Saves: B-Thompson 9; S- Johnson 9. Half: 0-0.