The Reservoir boys soccer team put together two strong halves in the District V championship game against Broadneck on Tuesday, pushing forward to earn a first-half lead and continuing to press in the second to protect it.
Senior Saad Memon scored midway through the first half, and the No. 6 Gators maintained the advantage by mostly getting to the ball first the rest of the way, coming away with a 1-0 win over the No. 13 Bruins at River Hill.
In their breakthrough season, the Gators (11-2-1) captured their first Howard County crown and added their first District V championship, getting a dominant game in the middle from senior captain Colin Bonner, with plenty of support around him.
"We knew Broadneck was a high-pressure team, so we figured if they're going to bring it to us, then we'll bring it to them," Reservoir coach Paul Linkins said. "Let's really attack that first touch, let's high-pressure them and we'll take it from there. And they came out and they knew the plan, and I think they executed it well."
Taking a feed from Bonner, Memon took advantage of space inside the penalty area on the right and sent a shot inside the far post that got by Bruins goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier, then defender Matt Tumelty, who couldn't clear it off the line.
Anne Arundel County champion Broadneck, which got six saves from Niedermeier, falls to 10-4-1.
The Bruins' best chance to tie came with 30 minutes left when David Keen found Loic Barret alone in front, but Barret's shot found the chest of Reservoir goalie Ryan Dooley, who finished with three saves.
Despite the setback, Broadneck coach Sean Tettemer was proud of his team's effort and felt the game would beneficial with the Class 4A East regional playoffs approaching. He was quick to credit Reservoir.
"I felt they were very comfortable the whole game," Tettemer said. "They were kind of playing their game and doing what they wanted to do. I thought we accounted for it, but they were able to play their style, the way they wanted to play, and they're dangerous."
No. 4 River Hill 2, No. 6 Severna Park 1: Sophomore forward Sheridan Street scored the opening goal and assisted on the game-winner by junior midfielder Kathryn Arensmeier in the second half as the Howard County champion Hawks fended off a late rally by the Falcons to come away with the District V title.
Street opened the scoring in the 22nd minute — finishing a chance in close after a nifty through ball from freshman Alex Hamer sent her in alone from the left side. After Arensmeier made it 2-0 in the opening minutes of the second half — taking a feed from Street along the right side and finishing to the far post from a tough angle — the Hawks buckled down on defense until Severna Park senior forward Jennifer Nance scored with 7:05 to play.
River Hill takes a 12-2-1 record in the Class 3A East regional playoffs, while the Anne Arundel County champion Falcons are 11-3-1 heading into the Class 4A East region. Both teams received opening-round byes and will start play early next week.
"This was a great game for us today," Street said. Severna Park "is a really good team, so we are pumped for the playoffs because we sort of know what it's going to be like playing a high-caliber team like this. We're really getting into the flow of our game and playing to our strengths."
River Hill senior goalie Carly Brunett finished with three saves, including one on a point-blank try from Severna Park junior Morgan Torggler with 16 minutes left and the Hawks protecting the two-goal lead. With Severna Park senior goalie Lexi Cavey out with an illness, sophomore Rachel Vander Kolk finished with five saves.
6 Reservoir 1, 13 Broadneck 0
Saves: B—Niedermeier 6; R—Dooley 3.
Half: R, 1-0.
4 River Hill 2, 6 Severna Park 1
Goals: RH—Street, Arensmeier; SP—Nance.
Assists: RH—Hamer, Street; SP—Torggler.
Saves: SP—Vander Kolk 5; RH—Brunett 3.
Half: RH, 1-0.