South River dominated most opponents this season and had trailed in only two of its first 16 games heading into Tuesday's Class 4A East semifinal against visiting Broadneck. But the Seahawks didn't get rattled when they fell behind early.
In fact, they played better. Brooke Griffin tied the score with an early second-half goal, and Kaitlin Maloy recorded the winner with 14:25 left to give No. 5 South River a 2-1 victory over No. 2 Broadneck.
South River (16-1) will host No. 6 Severna Park on Thursday in the regional title game. The Falcons handed the Seahawks their only loss of the season, 3-2, in overtime Sept. 16.
Both of Broadneck's losses came against South River. The Seahawks beat the Bruins, 1-0, during the regular season.
In the regional semifinal, South River came out a little flat as Broadneck (14-2) got some good scoring chances in the opening minutes and took the lead on a goal by Courtney Tomchik 11:39 into the game. That seemed to snap the Seahawks out of their early funk, and they kept working to create scoring chances.
"It fired them up," South River coach Katie Corcoran said. "They worked really hard. They never let down. It was 60 minutes of constant pressure."
Broadneck held the 1-0 lead until early in the second half, when Griffin scored on a long shot from near the top of the circle on a penalty corner, quickly turning Shannon Denno's pass into a bullet that goalie Madeline Koch (nine saves) couldn't stop with 21:32 left.
The Seahawks then stepped up the pressure, spending much of the second half in the Bruins' end and finally breaking the tie when Maloy redirected a pass from Jennie Milligan into the cage.
The Bruins began finding more scoring chances in the final five minutes, but goalie Emily Melanson (eight saves) made a number of good plays to help South River hang on.
The Seahawks' poise after falling behind and ability to step up their efforts proved to be crucial and helped them earn a spot in the regional final.
"We brought up the intensity," Maloy said. "We had to. We weren't ready for our season to end."
Goals: B-Tomchik; S-Griffin, Maloy. Assists: B-Eshleman; S-Denno, J. Milligan. Saves: B-Koch 9; S-Melanson 8. Half: B, 1-0.