Top-ranked South River's Leah Anonsen knew her team would have its hands full with visiting and sixth-ranked Broadneck in the Class 4A East regional semifinals Monday night. She thought the game might come down to one lucky bounce. Fortunately for her and the Seahawks, that bounce was right to her.
Anonsen scored in the 20th minute of the first half, and a tough South River defense made the goal stand up for a 1-0 win.
The Seahawks (15-1) will play at Severna Park on Wednesday for the regional title. The Falcons defeated visiting Leonardtown, 8-0, in the other semifinal.
"Our defense played awesome," Anonsen said. "I thought we really played well as a team. Our passes connected, and we worked well together."
The goal came with 19:57 elapsed in the first half. South River was awarded a free hit, and senior Courtney Thompson launched the ball toward the goal. It hit a stick and bounced around a few times before landing on Anonsen's stick to the right of the goal. Anonsen didn't miss her chance with Bruins keeper Jenna Tribull out of position, tapping the ball into the open net.
"Courtney shot it on a free hit, and I knew I had to touch it for it to count," Anonsen said. "It landed right on the end of my stick, and I knocked it in."
The Bruins (13-3) applied a lot of pressure late in the second half but couldn't connect. Perhaps their best chance came with 9:32 left, when Broadneck's Abbey Meehan found herself on a partial breakaway. She closed on the goal and fired a hard shot, but South River defender Taylor Bresnahan made a great play to knock the ball away before it got to the net.
"Our defense played superb tonight," South River coach Katie Corcoran said. "They're a great team, so we had to."
The Seahawks will look to avenge an early-season 1-0 loss to Severna Park in the final. Corcoran thinks her team will play well in that game.
"We weren't connecting in the first game, but we're playing with much more intensity now.
Corcoran complimented Anonsen and said she works hard each day to get better. She also summed up the night perfectly when talking about the winning goal.
"She's a great player," Corcoran said, "but sometimes it's just good to be in the right place at the right time."
B—Tribull 4; SR—Flanagan 6.