As far as Angela Cunningham is concerned, the South River girls lacrosse team has the tools to win a state title.
Hardy words considering the Seahawks are in the same classification as eight-time reigning state champion Mount Hebron, but the confidence is rising after visiting South River handled neighborhood rival Southern, 11-4, in Harwood yesterday.
The source of the Seahawks' optimism? A 12-11 victory Friday night over then-No. 8 Broadneck, which had owned South River for the past eight seasons.
Cunningham, a member of the school's Class 3A state champion field hockey team, said she can spot a parallel between that squad's 3-2 overtime win against powerhouse Severna Park and the lacrosse team's triumph over Broadneck.
The victory over Severna Park, the first by an Anne Arundel public school in more than a decade, "made us look like we could compete in the county," said Cunningham, a senior defender. "And I can see [a state crown] coming here. Even if we do meet Mount Hebron, I think we can beat them."
Seahawks lacrosse coach Kim McNemar wasn't nearly as talkative about that subject, but she did acknowledge her team's transformation after Friday.
"It's gotten us a step higher than last year because we hadn't beaten Broadneck in such a long time," said McNemar, whose squad has won four straight games.
That belief seemed to flow uninterrupted in yesterday's contest at Southern. Goals by midfielder Diana McFadden and attacker Jenifer May gave South River (9-3 overall, 7-2 county) a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
Even as the Bulldogs pulled ahead courtesy of three consecutive scores from midfielder Lauren Zang, a timeout called by McNemar with 8:16 left in the first half helped to calm her players.
Two goals by Cunningham and goals from midfielder Kelli Hogan and Evelyn Long lifted the Seahawks to a 6-3 lead at halftime.
Southern (5-5, 4-5) pulled within two thanks to a score from attacker Kori Talbott less than seven minutes into the second half, but South River outpaced the Bulldogs with a 5-0 run to close out the game.
Seahawks freshman goalie Jen Heup turned away 15 Southern shots - a development that puzzled Bulldogs coach Linda Kilpatrick.
"Our placement was terrible," she said. "When you take 40 shots, you have score more than four goals."