Chesapeake's girls soccer team lost its lead and its starting goalie in the first half. But the No, 5 Cougars never lost their composure.
With all the scoring taking place before halftime, host Chesapeake gained the top seed in the Class 4A-3A, Region II playoffs with a 5-2 victory over No. 3 Old Mill yesterday.
The Cougars (11-0-1) play fourth-seeded Broadneck on Tuesday. Second-seeded Old Mill (10-2) faces third-seeded Severna Park.
"The first seed is the most wonderful thing you can have," said Jamie Long, a junior midfielder who staked Chesapeake to a 2-0 lead by scoring on a direct kick and a penalty kick in the first six minutes. "You get to pick the team you want to play."
No one should be looking forward to meeting the Cougars, who have 58 goals and six shutouts. The timing could have been better for Old Mill, which was coming off a 5-1 loss to Severna Park on Tuesday.
The Patriots had allowed just five goals before Tuesday, but they've given up 10 in their past two games.
"It's a combination of scheduling and a slump," said Old Mill coach Bruce Sponsler. "If you look at the teams we played the first 10 games, I don't know if they scored that many goals against anybody."
The Patriots started slowly yesterday, but junior Michelle Salmon (18 goals, four assists) scored twice in a three-minute span to tie the game, 2-2. Her second goal, with about 15 minutes left in the half, proved especially costly for Chesapeake because Long collided with sophomore keeper Sandra Norris as both players went for the ball. Norris never returned to the game, though she was available.
Junior reserve Kristen Hackett kept Norris on the bench by making six saves and not allowing a goal.
A goal from senior Stacey Necessary put Chesapeake ahead, 3-2, with 12 minutes left. Tracy Starke set up the score by passing to Melissa Wagner, who found Necessary breaking toward the net. Old Mill keeper Jackie Bardelli got a hand on the ball as she dived to her right, but it rolled inside the left post.