Severna Park forward Jennifer Nance made the right side her very own workshop in the first half of the Class 4A East Region semifinal against Anne Arundel County rival South River.
The senior captain displayed speed, effort and poise — assisting on the game's first goal and scoring the eventual game-winner to lead the No. 6 Falcons to a 2-1 win over the visiting No. 10 Seahawks.
Severna Park (13-3-1) will meet the Broadneck-Leonardtown winner in a bid to capture the program's 14th regional title. South River, which played hard to the end but couldn't solve a solid defensive effort from the Falcons in the second half, ends its season 11-4-1.
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Severna Park Senior High School, 60 Robinson Rd, Severna Park, MD 21146-2899, USA
The Falcons got off to a fast start with an opportunistic goal from senior forward Sarah Peterson in the eighth minute to take a 1-0 lead. When South River goalie Alexis Scheidhauer (four saves) aggressively left her goal line — roaming out 25 yards in a bid to clear a ball sent in to the right side — Nance beat her to the ball and sent a hurried shot to the open net that tailed off to the left for a waiting Peterson to finish.
The Seahawks weren't bothered, pressing right after and getting the tying goal from senior Anna D'Ambra, who neatly placed a left-footed shot from the right side that found the top far post in the 15th minute.
But back came Nance. She made a strong run with the ball down the right before lofting a shot over Scheidhauer from 16 yards with 10:34 left in the first half, giving the Falcons a 2-1 halftime advantage.
"My midfielders do a great job," Nance said. "We work hard and talk about playing through balls and finding cracks in the defense. It's just hard work and determination."
The Falcons got a strong performance in the middle from senior Gabby Moreno. Sophomore goalie Rachel Vander Kolk had six saves filling in for senior Lexi Cavey, who has been out of the lineup with an illness.
Class 4A East semifinal
No. 6 Severna Park 2, No. 10 South River 1
Goals: SP — Peterson, Nance; SR — D'Ambra
Assists: SP — Nance
Saves: SR — Scheidhauer 3; SP — Vander Kolk 6.
Half: SP, 2-1