After South River’s 5-0 loss Saturday to open its season, the Seahawks players were messaging each other about how to approach their upcoming game against Mt. Hebron.

“We were talking in the group chat on Sunday,” said senior Tommi Bresnahan. “We were saying we were going to come out (Monday) and forget about Saturday’s loss and make sure we came out with the (win).”

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The defending Class 4A champion Seahawks did just that Monday, defeating the host Vikings 3-1 for their first victory of the season.

Head coach Megan Atkinson said she was proud of how her players bounced back from the team’s 5-0 loss to Cape Henlopen — one of the top teams from Delaware.

“We’re a young team. We lost nine seniors from last year,” said Atkinson. “Coming off the great season we had last year, we want to keep building off that. It was definitely good to get some goals on the board and work on the things we talked about, especially not having a practice between Saturday and today. It was definitely a good confidence builder.”

South River senior Tommi Bresnahan, one of the team's three goal scorers, talks about the Seahawks' 3-1 win over Mt. Hebron on Monday, Sept. 9.

Atkinson was happiest with how the offense spread the wealth, with three different Seahawks scoring goals in Kinley Parker, Tommi Bresnahan and Elsa Emling.

“We have depth,” Atkinson said. “It’s young, so the experience level isn’t there, but to come in and have three different people score is huge for us. It lets us know we don’t have to depend on one person to put the ball in the goal cage.”

Neither team scored for the first 14 minutes of the game at Mt. Hebron (1-2). Parker, a junior, drew first blood for South River (1-1), putting one in the back of the cage off a rebound.

“She has a lot of speed and grit out on the field,” Atkinson said. “She plays 100 percent every game. For her to clean up that rebound and fight for it to go in the goal cage shows the type of player she is.”

After going into halftime down 1-0, Mt. Hebron tied the game early in the second half when Mia Holland scored on a breakaway.

Mt. Hebron's Ashley Unkenholz (L) and Michelle Pak (R) provide hugs to teammate Mia Holland after she scores her team's only goal during Monday afternoon's 3-1 victory by South River over host, Mt. Hebron in Ellicott City.
Mt. Hebron's Ashley Unkenholz (L) and Michelle Pak (R) provide hugs to teammate Mia Holland after she scores her team's only goal during Monday afternoon's 3-1 victory by South River over host, Mt. Hebron in Ellicott City. (Doug Kapustin/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

“It was pretty,” said Mt. Hebron head coach Jeannette Ireland. “We were numbers up. The ball went over to Ashley (Unkenholz), she was able to center it past the goalkeeper and Mia was on the post and put it in.”

Seahawks responded five minutes later when Bresnahan scored on a penalty corner.

“With corners, it’s just about doing your job,” Bresnahan said. “On that corner, everybody played their part really well.”

Emling then sealed the victory for South River, scoring with five minutes remaining.

“Elsa is one of the fastest girls on our team,” Atkinson said. “For her to take that ball with her back to the goal and have the presence of where the goal was shows how much she’s grown as a sophomore. That was a beautiful goal by her.”

Bresnahan said having three players score in the same game is a good feeling for the whole offense.

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“I think it’s awesome that we have a lot of girls who can score, because we all work our butts off at practice every day,” she said.

Ireland said the Vikings defense broke down several times in the second half, which gave South River several scoring opportunities.

“Honestly, I think we need to block up free hits a little bit better because they penetrated through our lines pretty quickly,” Ireland said. “It’s just really basic stuff — moving to the ball, touching the ball first, winning the 50-50 balls.”

The Vikings were without senior Esha Shah, who has been out for a few weeks with an injury. Shah was a first-team All-Howard County midfielder last year.

“She’s a very important player,” Ireland said. “Every team deals with injuries. It gives another player an opportunity to show what they can do.”

Both teams are back in action on Friday. South River plays at Chesapeake, while Hebron travels to Centennial.

South River 3, Mt. Hebron 1

Goals: SR — Kinley Parker, Tommi Bresnahan, Elsa Emling; MH — Mia Holland.

Saves: SR — Lily Kerr 6, Jane Ford 4; MH — Hailey Conklin 5.

Halftime: 1-0, SR

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