South River beats Dulaney for third straight state title

CHESTERTOWN — Getting to Washington College ended up being the toughest part of the South River field hockey team’s day on Saturday.

After arriving in Chestertown later than expected due to their bus breaking down just past the toll plaza at the Bay Bridge, the Seahawks controlled the game from beginning to end and defeated Dulaney, 2-0, to win their third straight Class 4A title.

Allison Corey had a goal and an assist and Alexis Seidel scored a goal for the Seahawks, who scored both their goals on penalty corners.

“We like to make things memorable,” joked South River coach Megan Atkinson, referring to the bus. “We were very glad it didn’t happen on the bridge. The girls made the best of it at the time. We’re lucky they’re so close as a group that they wouldn’t let it get to them.”

Upon arriving at Washington College, the Seahawks no doubt heard about Chesapeake falling in the Class 3A final to a team the Cougars beat last year. The 4A final was also a rematch of last year’s final, won by South River.

“We heard Chesapeake lost, but we knew we had to keep our heads in it,” said Corey, who opened the scoring off an assist from Morgan Lee 13 minutes into the game. “We just had to come out strong and play like South River.”

South River (16-3) won its third straight state title and seventh overall. The Seahawks improved to 7-1 in state finals.

This year’s path to the state title was different than last year when the Seahawks fell to Severna Park in the Class 4A East Region final, only to be placed back in the state tournament once the Falcons were removed. They won a pair of one-goal games to win the region, then outscored Clarksburg and Dulaney by a combined 6-0 to win the state title.

“It’s still a state tournament and emotion is a big factor,” Atkinson said. “Sometimes it doesn’t matter. You can have all the skill in the world, but any team can be beaten on any given day. We just talked about staying composed and playing our game throughout the course of the day.”

Seidel scored half of the Seahawks’ six goals in their last two wins and is part of a group of seniors who graduate with three straight state titles to their credit.

“We proved everyone wrong,” Seidel said. “We had to play a lot of tough teams this year that thought they had the team and we proved we had it this year.”

Kaitlyn Wallace recorded five saves and concluded her career with two straight shutouts. The Seahawks closed the season on a nine-game winning streak, which included four shutouts.

“We have such a tough schedule. We look to improve every year,” Atkinson said. “We have a large team and a really young team, to be honest, and we have a lot of kids coming in. It just keeps that momentum going so the junior class from this year knows what it takes. They’re going into their fourth year next year where they’re going to be defending champions.”

The field hockey team’s win on Saturday continued a whirlwind weekend for the school. It began with the volleyball team winning the region title on Friday, followed by the football team’s upset of Broadneck. Prior to the field hockey team winning on Saturday afternoon, Bronwyn Patterson won the girls 4A state cross country race, while region champion Sam Keeny took third in the boys race.

“I think it just gave us a positive vibe,” Corey said. “We just wanted to keep going and represent South River.”

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