It was only the sixth game of the season and his team's third contest in the Baltimore Catholic League B Division. But Severn girls soccer coach Gib Fitzpatrick already had declared yesterday's matchup withMount de Sales a must-win game.
"This is a big one," Fitzpatrick said just prior to the start of the contest. "We have to win the restof our games from here on out."
Severn (4-3 overall and 2-1 in the league) started slow but brokeout with a fury in the second half en route to a 3-0 victory over the visiting Sailors from Catonsville.
"We didn't play like we wanted it in the first half," said Fitzpatrick, who took over the program this year for Rick Lenfest, now Severn's boys soccer coach. "The first half was the worst half I've seen us play all year."
The two squads played evenly in the first half, Mount de Sales edging the Admirals in the shot department, 8-7, but neither team scoring. Severn nearly scored on two occasions in the first period, only to see shots by Allison Clark and Julie Ayers tail right of the goal.
"I told themat the half that if they wanted to win, they really had to come out and start winning the loose balls," said Fitzpatrick.
"I also toldthem, because this was such an important game, that the second half would set the tone for the season. They had to go out and prove to themselves that they were contenders for the title."
The Admirals did just that -- and were rewarded for their efforts 2 minutes, 40 seconds into the second period, when freshman striker Heidi Hammes caromed one off the right pipe to snap the scoreless deadlock.
Severn added a second goal two minutes later, when junior Robin Quinton fielded a pass from Hammes, in heavy traffic, and drilled it pass Mount de Sales keeper Audrey Powers.
Severn fullbacks Kim Johnston, Sara Long, Kelly Creech and Stephanie Tuerk thwarted several second-half scoring drives by the Sailors, making Jennifer Wassif's job as goalie easier. Wassif, who was fired upon 17 times in the contest, emerged with 10 saves.
The Admirals were given some breathing room with 21 minutes to go when Quinton dribbled the ball from midfield, a defender on her hip, and booted it past a charging Mount de Sales goalie.
"I felt the momentum change as soon as (Severn) scored that first goal," said Mount de Sales coach Jim Coleman, whose team entered the gamewith a record identical to the Admirals. "We started (just) chasing the ball, and we broke down.
"They were a little more aggressive in the second half. They beat us to the ball on just about every occasion, and that hurt. They're a well-coached team and Gib has definitely got them primed for this year."