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After playing to a scoreless draw just three weeks ago, the South River and Severna Park girls soccer teams knew that goals were going to be difficult to come by in Monday night’s county championship game.

So when the ball fell to Madeline Lenkart nearly four minutes into overtime off a partially cleared corner she didn’t hesitate, blasting a shot into the top left corner of the net to give the Seahawks a 1-0 victory and avenging last year’s defeat to the Falcons in the county championship.

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“At the end there we were pushing hard and definitely getting a lot of opportunities,” Lenkart said. “We knew that it was coming, we had some opportunities early where it was bouncing around in there and we just couldn’t finish.

“Coach told us before overtime that someone is going to have to step up by putting it all out there to get these opportunities and we need to finish them,” Lenkart added. "Severna Park is just a great program, we’ve been scoreless against them for two straight games basically so when you get an opportunity like that you have to capitalize on it because they don’t give that up that often.”

South River had arguably its best opportunity just 40 seconds into the game as some slick team passing from the right flank presented a golden opportunity but Severna Park goalie Katie Byrd was off her line quickly to block the potential scoring threat. Byrd finished with nine saves for the Falcons.

There were opportunities throughout the remainder of regulation but none of a truly threatening nature as the teams reached 160 minutes and counting with neither finding the back of the net.

Heading into overtime, South River coach John Sis knew his squad’s best opportunity would come off a set piece.

“Sometimes as players we are so worried about the last one we missed, we are not worried about the next one that comes,” Sis said. “We weren’t getting in off the run of play. So when you are having trouble scoring off the run of play then you have to resort to your set pieces so I was glad we finally put one in.”

It was Madalyn Bonzella who delivered the corner the Falcons were unable to fully clear, setting up Lenkart for her game-winner.

While the Severna Park defense was stingy, South River’s has been unrelenting — having gone 11 consecutive contests without conceding a goal. Make that 12 now thanks to goalie Julia Cobb’s five saves and a stout defensive effort from her four fullbacks in front of her.

“I have Morgan (Carter) as my center back, I’ve known her for a very long time. I’ve known all my center backs for a very long time,” Cobb said. “We just have great communication with each other and we know what each other needs and I think that helps.

“We are all very, very close so having that personal relationship helps playing cohesively on the field,” Cobb added. "It feels great knowing that we can hold off a great team like Severna Park. It’s going to be really crucial going into the playoffs to remember that we can do this and implement that.”

For Severna Park coach Rick Stimpson, it was a strong effort his squad can build off heading into next week’s playoff matchup with Leonardtown.

“They always come out fighting," Stimpson said. “They gave the effort we were looking for today and on another day with a different bounce here and there it would be a different result. I definitely cannot complain about the work rate and the effort they put in."

“I thought we created a couple of chances early on that we didn’t take and we were looking for a break here and there and we just didn’t get the little bit of luck that we needed. It certainly wasn’t from a lack of effort, we just needed a touch more composure in the final third,” Stimpson added.

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