The third quarter of the Class 4A-3A East region boys lacrosse semifinal on Monday proved to be a microcosm of the South River boys lacrosse's perfect season.
The No. 8 Seahawks, being pushed with a one goal advantage at the half, proved stingy at the defensive end and resourceful on offense against Anne Arundel County rival Severna Park. With John Carr scoring two of his four goals and goalie Nick Marcelino making saves on three straight Severna Park possessions in the pivotal stretch, the Seahawks took charge with three straight goals and went on to advance with a 10-7 win against the No. 13 Falcons in Edgewater .
South River, Anne Arundel County and District V champions, improved to 17-0 on the season and will host the winner of the Arundel-Chesapeake-AA semifinal in Wednesday's region title game. Severna Park, which got two goals and an assist from Jonah Kozireski, ends its season with a 12-5 mark.
After seeing their three-goal lead in the first quarter slip to 6-5 at the half, the Seahawks simply came out in the third quarter refocused and prepared to take control.
fifth-year South River coach Paul Noone, who is in his fifth season, said he didn't need to give a motivational speech at the half.
"We're banging pipes, we're missing ground balls, we're making bad passes. We told them to just tighten up, that's all we have to do and we'll finish the thing," he said.
In the third quarter, Noone watched his team play a little faster and harder with improved spacing. The reward was a goal from Michael Strange on their first possession and two straight from Carr, who added his fourth later in the fourth quarter to build a 10-6 .
After reaching the state title game last season, falling to Linganore, the Seahawks are now one win away from making another state tournament appearance.
"It's always focus on the next game — nothing more than that. States is a big goal, but the next game is what's important," Carr said.
In the early going, it looked as if the Seahawks were picking up where they left off in their 7-2 regular-season win over the Falcons on May 1. The home team controlled play at both ends and methodically built a 3-0 lead with 2:12 to play in the first quarter.
But the Falcons found life when Kozireski scored a man-advantage goal with 12 seconds left and then they stayed on more even terms in the second quarter. When Kozireski took a feed from Warren Klug for a short-handed goal with 1:16 to play in the half, the game was tied at 5 before Lavon Chaney gave the Seahawks a 6-5 halftime lead on a goal with three seconds left until intermission.
Class 4A-3A East semifinal
8 South River 10, 13 Severna Park 7
Goals: SP – Kozireski 2, Bolhorst, Wilke 2, Swartz, Galdi;
SR – J. Carr 4, Strange 2, B. Chisolm 2, Davis, Chaney.
Assists: SP – Ferguson, Klug, Galdi, Kozireski;
SR – David, C. Carr, Mansur 3.
Saves: SP -- Pasiuk;
SR -- Marcelino.
Half: SR, 6-5