South River's girls soccer team would have needed a superior performance to defeat Severna Park yesterday.
But the way the Falcons are playing, that may not even have been enough.
No. 10 Severna Park put forth another stifling defensive effort and freshman Lindsey Poland scored the go-ahead goal in a 3-1 win over the host Seahawks, the Falcons' fifth straight victory.
Poland controlled a long pass from Shelley Seivert and was one-on-one with South River keeper Megan Riley (15 saves). Her shot into the left corner of the net broke a 1-1 tie with just over five minutes left in the opening half.
Stephanie Roberts' 10th goal of the season, off a nice assist from Michelle Rose, had given Severna Park a 1-0 lead. South River (3-5) tied the score on Cassadie Dunbar's goal after the Falcons (6-1) were called for obstruction.
"We earned what we got out there," said Severna Park coach Joyce Stefancik. "This is one of the better games we've played all season. I'm pleased with the way we're going right now."
How good have the Falcons been lately? They've allowed two goals while scoring 28. They had four consecutive shutouts, and five overall, before yesterday's game.
The win was called "pivotal" by Stefancik.
"If we had lost this game, we could have been in the hole for playoffs," she said. "It was a critical
Roberts, who added her 11th goal early in the second half, said, "This is the turning point of our season."
The Falcons hardly needed redirecting. Their only loss was 1-0 to Broadneck in the second game.
Not all has gone well for Severna Park, however. Starting goalie Kristen Wilson injured her right ankle in a 5-0 win over Northeast Friday, and she watched yesterday's game on crutches. Her backup, freshman Shannon Chaney, made six saves.
South River's goal came on a designed play, with Jess Marion tapping the ball to Dunbar, who sent a shot just under the crossbar.
"All you can do is turn around and say 'beautiful,' " Stefancik said. "That was a beautiful way-you-draw-it-up-on-paper goal. Very well executed."