By Mike Frainie
For The Baltimore Sun
9:52 PM EST, November 6, 2012
South River's Kacie Longo knows what it means to play under pressure. She proved that to top-seeded Arundel in the Class 4A East girls' soccer championship Tuesday night.
After No. 4 Arundel took a 2-0 lead, Longo scored twice in the second half — the second coming with less than 40 seconds left — leading the No. 3 Seahawks to overtime, where they won, 3-2.
Madison Koenig scored the game-winner on a penalty kick with 8:30 left in the second overtime.
South River (17-2) will face Bowie in the state semifinals Saturday at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville.
The Wildcats (18-1) got first-half goals from Clarissa Kirsch-Downs with 29:31 left and Allison Shaner with 1:49 remaining in the half. Then the Seahawks went to work.
"We knew we needed to step it up [at halftime]," Longo said. "We were getting the shots, but they just weren't falling for us. I have faith in our offense, and knew we just needed to finish. Thankfully, that started to happen."
The Seahawks got their first goal with 27:20 left in the second half, when Longo dribbled from the sideline and beat the Arundel keeper.
South River kept the pressure on, and Arundel began to fall back into a defensive shell. The Seahawks had several good chances, but just couldn't convert.
With less than a minute left, that finally changed. Longo crashed the middle of the penalty area and took a perfectly placed cross from senior Rebekah Petty, which she one-timed into the back of the net to tie the game.
"I know how Bekah thinks, and I knew where I needed to be," Longo said. "We always connect well, and I was in the right place at the right time."
South River had the better of the action in the first overtime, but couldn't solve Arundel's defense. Arundel had the better chance, though, when a cross to Kirsch-Downs was put just over the crossbar with 5:56 left.
As the second overtime began, South River began with an aggressive attack. A pass down the left sideline hit sophomore Kenidy Springer in stride, and she took a partial breakaway into the penalty area before two Arundel defenders caught her. As they aggressively tussled for the ball, Springer went down, and the referee called for a penalty kick immediately.
With Springer leaving the game with an ankle injury, Koenig took the kick and beat the keeper to the left side for the win.
"That was my first goal of the year, and what a time to score it," Koenig said. "I've taken some [penalty kicks] in the club season, but never in high school. I knew I had to be confident in myself, and I was. I am so proud of our team, and I can't wait for us to go to states."
Class 4A, East championship
No. 3 South River 3, No. 4 Arundel 2, 2OT
Goals: SR – Longo 2, Koenig; A – Kirsch-Downs, Shaner. Assists: SR - Wray, Petty. Saves: SR – Proctor, 4; A – Crider, 6. Half: A, 2-0.
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun