Both Notre Dame Prep and host Severn had their share of quality possession time in Friday’s girls soccer showdown between undefeated teams.
It was the No. 6 Blazers who made the most of their time with the ball.
The visitors proved a little more hungry and precise in the offensive end, getting a one-goal, one-assist performance from Patricia Kohler and goals from Viv Parravano and Sarah Goodison to come away with a 3-1 win over the Admirals in Severna Park.
In improving to 5-0 on the season, Notre Dame Prep has scored 15 goals while yielding three.
“I don’t think we thought we would have a 5-0 start, but we’ve been staying pretty humble I would say and I think that’s what has helped us keep winning,” said defender Finley Barger, who assisted on the Blazers’ first goal and is one of four seniors on the team. “We’re a really young team and we’ve all come together and having been working really well.”
All three of the Blazers’ goals started with gritty and skilled work in the corner.
During an evenly played first half, Barger won a ball deep on the right side and sent a cross to the far post that Parravano directed in for a 1-0 lead with 3:50 remaining until the break.
While the Admirals (4-1) were able to string together passes — with Alina Valencia, Abby Witzel and Elliott Wienk directing traffic — they weren’t able to score with the needed final touch.
Kohler, a sophomore forward, was the biggest difference-maker in the second half.
She first won a ball on the right side and sent a pass to the middle for Goodison, who made a quick turn and found the left corner of the net from 12 yards to push the advantage to 2-0 with 26 minutes to play.
After Wienk’s hard work in the penalty area awarded the Admirals a penalty kick, which led to Valencia neatly finding the right corner, the lead was cut to 2-1 with 22:22 to play.
Kohler quickly responded from the same right corner, this time getting by a couple defenders before slipping a shot past Severn goalkeeper Zoee Stencil inside the near post for a 3-1 lead with 16:58 left.
“[Coach Val Teixeira] was telling me to go to goal,” she said. “So I told myself ‘OK you can do this, you can dribble around these players,’ and then I saw the gap between the goalie and the front post, so I just slotted it in and it turned out to be a goal.
“I thought the effort from the team was great. From the start, we wanted to come out and beat this team. So definitely when Finley got the assist to Viv, we started getting goals going and that really intensified our momentum.”
In its early season success, Notre Dame Prep has shown a quality mix of skills and athleticism with a mostly young group. Teixeira is leaning on his three captains — Barger, forward Olivia Rockstroh and midfielder Natalie O’Brocki — and he once again got quality performances from each of them. The Blazers will host Elizabeth Seton next Wednesday before heading into Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference play with high expectations.
“We have a young team, but we have some great leaders,” Teixeira said. “Finley, Olivia and Natalie are our three captains that can keep the group together. They lead by example and then the rest of the team follows their leads as the game goes on.”
The Admirals, already 1-0 in the IAAM B Conference, are primed for a run at a league championship. In addition to their league-opening win against Bryn Mawr, they earned wins over formidable sides Sparrows Point, South River and Dulaney.
Despite falling for the first time this season, Severn coach Albert Oni believes the value of playing a team of Notre Dame Prep’s caliber serves a purpose for the Admirals moving forward.
“We need to play games like this just to get a little bit tougher and understand that just playing a beautiful game alone is not good enough — you have to learn how to compete and play against teams that have desire to win every 50-50 ball because it’s only going to raise your level if you’re a competitor,” he said. “So for us, that was a great match, great competition and I’m excited to see what we do moving forward.”
Severn returns to league play when it hosts Concordia Prep at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Goals: NDP – Parravano, Goodison, Kohler; S – A. Valencia
Assists: NDP – Barger, Kohler
Saves: NDP – Glagola 5; S – Stencil 3
Half: NDP, 1-0