Scott Vane topped off a storybook performance in three consecutive Class 4A East Region games over the past eight days, driving a shot into the net with 2:05 left in the first overtime last night to lift 11th-ranked Severna Park to a 1-0 victory over an inspired Meade team for the region championship at Chesapeake High.
Vane was wide-open on the left side of the goal when teammate Jim Traylor's shot from 15 yards on the right side was saved by Matt Nein but bounced from the Meade goalkeeper right toward Vane.
Vane cranked the shot from 10 yards right into the goal, touching off a celebration by a Severna Park team (12-4) that has come a long way since starting 2-3.
Severna Park will meet Northwestern in the state 4A semifinals tomorrow at Arundel High at 5 p.m.
Vane has scored all three Severna Park goals in the three-game run past Glen Burnie, Calvert and Meade over the past eight days.
The senior co-captain has scored nine game-deciding goals this season.
"It was a great feeling to score the goal," said Vane. "But our defense played a tremendous game and has to get the credit for winning."
One of those defensive heroes was sophomore goalkeeper Keith Brunst, who was making his first varsity start and had five saves.
Brunst replaced senior starter Evan Henry (virus).
"I told Keith not to be nervous and just go out and play," said Vane. "And after it was over, he looked at me and said 'Great game.' "
But last night's heroics came after a lot of anxious moments for the winners.
Unranked, unsung and underdog Meade (9-7) played the Falcons much tougher than anybody thought and could have won the game in the final minute of regulation with a little luck.
Only 30 seconds were left in regulation when Meade's James Marymee swiped the ball from the Severna Park offense and got a breakaway started.
Chris Balko was the recipient of the Marymee defensive gem and took the ball straight to the goal for a shot that just missed wide left.
Balko was all over the field all night long and his teammate Steve White took a couple of impressive cracks at the goal and came close three times to scoring.
And Nein made 10 saves to keep Meade in the fight.
"Our kids showed what we were capable of doing tonight and I'm proud of all of them," said Meade coach Mike Dey. "Jon Purdy and Darren Burrell were superb on defense along with Matt Nein."