There wasn't any defining moment or quick string of goals in Wednesday's Class 4A East boys lacrosse region title game featuring defending state champion South River and its Anne Arundel County rival Chesapeake.
It was more just South River doing what it does best this time of year.
The No. 10 Seahawks controlled play most of the way, methodically finished off scoring chances and clamped down on defense when called upon to earn a thorough 10-3 home win over the No. 13 Cougars and return to the Class 4A-3A state semifinals.
South River improves to 16-3 and will meet South region champion Howard — a 14-7 winner over Bel Air — in the state semifinal round set for Franklin High either Friday or Saturday.
The Seahawks got three goals each from Matt Gaskins and Brandon Senft and a collective defensive performance led by seniors Stephen Hincks and Tyler King. South River scored the first seven goals of the second half to provide a comfortable distance against the upstart Cougars, who finish 15-3.
"We have a lot of veterans for later on in the playoffs, a lot of kids that returned from last year, so as a group we're ready for this situation and the big stage," said Gaskins, a senior midfielder.
Taking a 3-1 lead at the half, the Seahawks pulled away with three unanswered goals in the third quarter for a 6-1 advantage going into the fourth.
In addition to his goals, Gaskins played a major role with his dominating work on faceoffs to give the Seahawks the ball most of the pivotal quarter. Brandon Senft took care of the finishing with two consective goals early in the third quarter before Gaskins made it 6-1 with 4:51 to play in the quarter. The lead increased to 10-1 before the Cougars scored two goals in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.
"To get out of this region is awful tough with some good teams in it," South River coach Paul Noone said. "So you've got to land a blow and get a little space, a little bit of room, and we did."
Coming off an 11-6 season a year ago, the Cougars continued moving forward in demanding Anne Arundel. They showed no quit in closing out their season, getting goals from Connor Kipke and Pat Brennan in the final five minutes. Among the many highlights for the Cougars this season was an 11-9 win over county champion Arundel in the region quarterfinals.
Class 4A-3A East region
No. 10 South River 10, No. 13 Chesapeake-AA 3
Goals: CH – Matula, Kipke, Brennan;
SR –Gaskins 3, Chisolm 2, Senft 3, Mansur, Fohs.
Assists: CH – Mulvey, Hudson, Michalski;
SR – Ward 2, Chisolm.
Saves: CH – Souder 12; SR – Gavin 9.
Half: SR, 3-1