The South River girls soccer team has taken a more positive and direct approach to its halftime talks this season.
No longer do the No. 7 Seahawks say: "This is what we need to do in the second half …" Instead, they boldly state: "This is what we're going to do ..."
Playing at Anne Arundel County rival Broadneck on Wednesday with the game tied at the break, South River banked on going at the No. 6 Bruins hard, not letting up and getting the goal to win the game.
The Seahawks took control of the second half with a persistent push, and sophomore midfielder Katie Berkowitz delivered a 2-1 win with her first-ever varsity goal. She just beat Broadneck goalie Kendall Salvas to a ball deep on the left side and then slotted a left-footed shot to the far right post with 11:35 to play to give the Seahawks the victory.
South River snapped a three-game losing streak to the Bruins and improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in Anne Arundel. Broadneck fell to 2-1 and 1-1 in league play.
"It just feels really good to be able to accomplish what we set out to do," Berkowitz said. "I was just really motivated to pick us up. I don't know, it's kind of crazy — I just saw the ball and was like 'I got to get that.' I didn't even see the ball go in the goal, and it really hasn't even registered yet."
The Seahawks had to come from behind to earn the win.
While they spent more time with the ball and had a couple scoring chances early, the Bruins scored first when senior midfielder Devani Smith finished off a rebound in front in the 25th minute. Senior midfielder Emily Lord helped make it happen, cranking a shot from 18 yards — Broadneck's first on goal — that South River freshman goalie Emily Proctor made a diving save on.
The Seahawks weren't deterred, and their hard work paid dividends late in the first half when senior Rebekah Petty created a chance for herself with alert play. She took a ball away from the Bruins' last defender in the middle, then neatly placed a shot from 15 yards that found the lower-left corner to even the score at 1 with 6:05 left in the first half.
"It's very difficult to win at Broadneck and I thought we did a great job matching their intensity, and I thought we did pretty well overcoming that first goal," South River coach John Sis said. "We defended pretty well. ... I think overall to play at their house and overcome a 1-0 [deficit] is big for us."
Broadneck coach John Camm said the early-season setback showed a number of things his Bruins have to improve on.
"They were just a little bit better than us at everything. They were a little more aggressive, they were a little faster, they got behind us a little better," he said. "We played hard, but we didn't play hard enough, and you have to give them credit."
No. 7 South River 2, No. 6 Broadneck 1
Goals: SR – Petty, Berkowitz; BN -- Smith
Assists: BN -- Lord
Saves: SR – Proctor 2, Carter 1; BN – Salvas 9.