With a loss and two ties on its normally spotless record, Severna Park's girls soccer team hasn't experienced a typical season.
Why should its regional playoff game yesterday have been any different?
The second-seeded Falcons trailed early before rallying on goals from Nicki Cecere and Shelly Seivert to defeat third-seeded Broadneck, 2-1, in the 3A/4A Region III semifinals.
Severna Park (10-1-2) advances to the region finals against the winner of today's Chesapeake-South River semifinal.
If South River wins, the final would be Friday at Severna Park. If the Cougars win, the game will take place Saturday at Chesapeake.
Yesterday's game-winner came on a direct kick from Seivert, her first goal of the year. She boomed a shot from around 30 yards out inside the right post and beyond senior keeper Holly Mowry.
"My coach told me that (Mowry) always steps to the far side, so kick it near post," Seivert said. "I usually either drop it over their heads or it goes over the goal."
The three-time defendingstate champs fell behind, 1-0, at 8 minutes, 17 seconds, when Bruinssenior Joyce Verplank intercepted an attempted clear by Seivert, raced to the goal and beat senior keeper Alicia Conine (five saves).
Verplank outran Seivert and Falcons sophomore Carrie Budzinski and rolled a shot to the right of Conine, who never moved.
"Shelly felt badly about the (Broadneck) goal, and I think it's just super that she would come through and get the winning goal," Falcons coach Joyce Stefancik said. "I guess life is fair sometimes."
After both teams missed opportunities to score, Cecere took a short pass from Stephanie Roberts, turned and casually launched a 25-yarder into the lower left corner of the net to tie the game at 1.
The Bruins (9-4) had a chance to reclaim the lead with 11:30 left in the half, but Conine snared Jessica Hull's shot from the right side.
In the second half, Severna Park fired away at Mowry (11 saves). Seivert finally broke through at 28:00 on a shot that Mowry had no chance of stopping.
"Sooner or later, one of those shots is going to go in," Broadneck coachDavid Lord said. "When you give Cecere and Seivert that many chances, one is going in."