Arden Smith is a soft-spoken sophomore forward playing in her first year of varsity for the Broadneck girls soccer team. But her right foot boomed loudly Thursday at South River.
Smith cleanly struck a shot from 18 yards that quickly found the top-right corner of the Seahawks' net, providing the overtime golden goal that gave the No. 15 Bruins a 2-1 upset win over No. 10 South River in Anne Arundel County play.
Sophomore Caitlyn Shea sent a long ball from midfield to junior Emily Lord, who settled and then nudged a short pass across to Smith. Running on to the ball, Smith one-timed her shot with 2:18 left in the first 10-minute overtime.
Broadneck improves to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in Anne Arundel, while South River falls to 0-2 and 0-1 in the league.
"I just have to thank Emily for playing me a good pass, because I wouldn't have gotten a clean hit without," said Smith, who also assisted on the Bruins' first goal. "It's a very good way to start my season."
And what's it like to score a game-winning goal in overtime?
"It's just so exciting," she said. "I still have the feeling right now because it makes you feel important for the moment."
The host Seahawks had the better of the play in the first half, possessing the ball more and creating a number of scoring opportunities, but the Bruins made the most of a late chance to take a 1-0 halftime lead.
With 11:50 left in the half, Rachel Paganelli sent a long throw to the middle that was flicked ahead by Smith to sophomore Emily Barton, who neatly placed a shot to the right side from 12 yards.
With 14 minutes left in the second half, South River found the equalizer when junior Dannie Stith took a hard shot from 30 yards that found the lower-left corner to send the game into overtime.
For much of extra time, the Bruins were faster to the ball and were rewarded with Smith's heroics.
"We're very fast and pretty physical, and South River plays the same way," Broadneck coach John Camm said. "There wasn't a whole lot of room in the midfield, so we were playing balls through and they were playing balls through and we got the break and Smith made a great shot to finish it off. Those are two sophomores that scored goals, and we're very happy about that."
South River coach John Sis plans to use the setback as a lesson learned in the early season.
"Hats off to Broadneck — they did a great job," he said. "I thought they wanted to win more than we did, and that's one of the things we need to take out of this game. They came out and ran through everything and ran through us. The season is just beginning, so we have a long way ahead of us and we can definitely learn from this."
No. 15 Broadneck 2, No. 10 South River 1 (OT)
Goals: B – Barton, A. Smith; SR -- Stith.
Assists: B – A. Smith, Lord.
Saves: B – Salvas 5; SR – Carter 3.
Half: B, 1-0.