With a resilient defense and just enough offense, No. 10-ranked South River put together the needed combination to upset No. 2 Severna Park last night in Edgewater.
Junior striker Lindsey Roche scored her fifth and biggest goal of the season with 12 minutes left to provide the difference in the Seahawks' 2-1 win.
Until Severna Park got a tying goal from Kate Hickman with 16 minutes left, the South River defense -- pressed throughout but not giving in -- was the story.
Roche, working the ball out of the left corner and finishing with a shot to the far post for the game-winner, assured a happy ending for the home team.
"There [were] 12 minutes left, and I knew we had to score. I got a ball down to the corner, made a juke move and took a look up. I aimed for the right corner, and it went in," she said. "We had to win this game. We were working up to this. We haven't beaten Severna Park in a long time."
It was the first regular-season loss for Severna Park (5-1) since the 1997 season. The Falcons went through last season undefeated, including two wins against South River late in the year, before falling to Wootton in the Class 4A state final.
Last night, everything appeared just right for the South River upset. The Seahawks (4-1) had a full week of practice to prepare, and Severna Park was without standout senior midfielder Meg Miller, who was visiting Duke University, which is interested in her for lacrosse.
The Seahawks' practice time was well spent.
"All we worked on was defense," said new South River coach Tucker Schrumm. "There were a lot of seniors out there playing with a lot of heart. They had never beaten Severna Park before and didn't want to go out without a win."
South River took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Kelli Hogan in the 14th minute. Getting behind the Severna Park defense, Hogan ran onto a through ball and raced into the penalty area before sending a shot high to the right corner from 15 yards out.
South River junior sweeper Lauren McKeever led a strong defensive effort that continually frustrated the Falcons' dangerous attack led by Holly Noga.
When the Falcons finally broke through, Hickman taking a short back pass from Bre Benton and finishing promptly from 18 yards at the top-center of the box, the question was: How would the Seahawks respond?
"I was happy I didn't see one head go down -- a lot of heart," said Schrumm.
Said McKeever: "We wanted it more than they did. This was our home field, and we weren't going to lose."
Joining McKeever in the strong defensive effort were Jessica Beard and Abby Johnson. Goalie Erin Johnson turned back seven shots. The midfield also chipped in with a defense-first approach.
Severna Park coach Chuck Seivert promised his Falcons would be back.
"The sun will come up in the morning," he said. "Our kids didn't back down. They played hard. That last shot [from Roche] was a nice ball. You can't save that. You have to give South River a lot of credit -- they played well."
Pub Date: 9/25/99