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  • Teammates mob Alyssa Hill in celebration of Hill's first-half score that put South River out to a 1-0 lead in Tuesday night's 4A East region final against Severna Park. The Seahawks went on to win, 2-1, and claim their third consecutive region championship.
    Photo by Colin A.J. Murphy
    Teammates mob Alyssa Hill in celebration of Hill's first-half score that put South River out to a 1-0 lead in Tuesday night's 4A East region final against Severna Park. The Seahawks went on to win, 2-1, and claim their third consecutive region championship.
  • The Seahawks' Katie Berkowitz dribbled past Severna Park's Sarah Gellert during the first half of South River's 2-1 region final win on Tuesday night.
    Photo by Colin A.J. Murphy
    The Seahawks' Katie Berkowitz dribbled past Severna Park's Sarah Gellert during the first half of South River's 2-1 region final win on Tuesday night.
  • Photo by Colin A.J. Murphy
  • Photo by Colin A.J. Murphy
  • Photo by Colin A.J. Murphy
  • Photo by Colin A.J. Murphy
  • Photo by Colin A.J. Murphy
  • Photo by Colin A.J. Murphy

Seahawks Top Severna Park For 4A East Title, 2-1

Colin Murphy
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November 5, 2014

For the third consecutive season, the South River girls soccer team is moving on to the state tournament.

The Seahawks captured the 4A East region championship over visiting Severna Park on Tuesday night, getting a first-half score from Alyssa Hill and one in the second half from Olivia Laurenzano and mostly outplaying and outmuscling the Falcons in what was a physical and aggressive battle throughout.

Seahawks coach John Sis was happy to make it through the region against a gritty effort from the always-challenging Falcons.

“We just grinded away,” said Sis. “Severna Park just wouldn’t go away. We couldn’t get enough separation from the goals. To their credit, we just can’t relax against them. I thought we did well. I thought our fitness base was a little bit higher than theirs at the end, but they just kept pressuring us, and as you can tell they had a couple chances late in the game, and it could have gone into overtime.”

View a photo gallery of the South River girls soccer team in its 2-1 win over Severna Park.

Two quick strikes, one from each team, provided the scoring in the first half. Hill—who scored the winning penalty in the Seahawks’ shootout victory in the 2012 state final—opened the scoring seven minutes in, catching everyone off-guard by one-timing a pass from teammate Laurenzano onto goal. The blast sailed 30 yards on a rope into the top corner of Severna Park’s net, past the outstretched fingertips of the diving Falcon goalie.

Play was largely even over the remainder of the period, though neither team manufactured any great chances until the Falcons found a seam just before the halftime whistle. Madison Scheimreif’s clearance from the Severna Park goalmouth made it through a forest of players from both sides in the middle of the field and came to the feet of Sarah Gun, who had anticipated the bounce and sprinted forward. Behind the South River defense, Gun took a couple touches before side-footing a shot to the lower corner. South River goalie Emily Proctor got a foot to the shot, but the deflection wasn’t enough to redirect the ball, and Gun had equalized for the Falcons just before half.

In the 50th minute, Kristen Castle found Laurenzano on the corner of the box, and the senior forward curled a shot into the top corner to regain the lead for the Seahawks.

Clean looks at goal were sparse for both sides over the remainder of the contest as the teams engaged in a hard-fought tug of war in the middle third of the field. South River’s defense stood tall, thwarting every Severna Park attack until the final whistle signaled a return trip to the state tournament for South River.

Sis, whose squad seemed unfazed by the ebb and flow of momentum throughout the night, says the girls’ unshakeable mentality is a direct product of the team’s senior leadership.

“As long as there’s a second on the clock, they believe they can win,” said Sis. “That’s one of the criteria of a champion: you’ve got to have self-belief, and I think this group has it. But they have a huge core base of seniors that believe that, so I think it’s easier to follow somebody when they believe it and you’re an underclassmen, so it’s a credit to the senior class that’s on this team.”

The Seahawks face 4A North champion Howard in the state semifinals at Richard Montgomery High School on Saturday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m.

View a photo gallery of the South River girls soccer team in its 2-1 win over Severna Park.


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