Severna Park's 4-0 win over rival Broadneck in girls soccer action yesterday exposed both the strengths and weaknesses of the host Bruins.
Despite a 2-0 deficit after the first 16 minutes, Broadneck held its own against the reigning queens of county soccer, as midfielders Ava Tasker, Meredith Huffines and Amy Adams worked the ball in, around and past the Falcon halfbacks. The Bruins even managed to test Severna Park goalkeeper Tami Riley by firing five shots on goal.
That was the first half.
The second half belonged to the Severna Park offense. The quicker Falcons kept the ball in their offensive end for almost the remainder of the contest, keeping the young Bruin defense busy for most of the final 40 minutes.
"For the most part, I think we played a pretty good ballgame," said Broadneck head coach David Lord. "We had two key defensive lapses in the first half, but other than that, I'd say we played them pretty even."
The first lapse by the Bruins (1-1 overall, 0-1 4A league) occurred 6 minutes and 28 seconds into the first half. After successfully defending against a Broadneck corner kick, the Falcons (3-0) used their superior speed to make the most of a fast-break opportunity.
Betsy Anderson sent a clearing pass to a streaking Lisa Cope down the right side of the field. Cope then sent a crossing pass to midfielder Cathi Hanson, who found the back of the net.
At the game's 16-minute mark, freshman striker Erin Wylde chipped a perfect pass over the top of the Bruin defense to Cope, who then drew Mowry out of the goal and lobbed the ball into the left corner.
"I think our defense was just a little slow today, but they're still learning," said Lord. "We were concentrating on stopping No. 20 (Anderson). I think we accomplished that. She wasn't a very big factor. But No. 8 and No. 5 (Cope and Wylde) did the job for them."
During the end of opening stanza, Tasker gave Falcon goalie Tami Riley a brief workout. The lanky junior made a brilliant run through the left side of the Severna Park defense and uncorked a low line-drive shot from 18 yards. Reilly smothered the blast with a diving save.
"Our defense did a great job throughout the entire game," said Severna Park head coach Joyce Stefancik. "Coat (fullback Ellen Westcoat) did a very good job of controlling the game."
In the second half, the Falcons' constant offensive pressure paid off in the game's 64th minute, as Stephanie Roberts took advantage of a defensive mix-up by the Bruins and hammered a right-footed shot underneath a surprised Mowry.
"I don't know what happened during the second half, but it seemed like their whole team dropped back on defense. That gave us even more opportunities to score," said Stefancik.
The Falcons outshot Broadneck, 16-5, in the game, 8-0 in the second half.
Severna Park added the coup de grace at the game's 71:25 mark as Anderson finally shook loose a hounding, physical defense and cracked a 25-yard drive into the Bruin goal.
Mowry (12 saves) kept the final score from becoming more lopsided by making a brilliant foot save on a shot by Cope, giving the home crowd a glimpse of hope for the future.
"We knew what to expect coming into the game. I think my kids did a good job, no matter what the score was. Severna Park is beatable, but no one's done it yet," said Lord.