It was a classic example of a prolific offense going against a smothering defense. And this time, offense won out.
In a big way.
No. 2 seed Severna Park scored twice in a minute in the first half and rolled to a 3-0 victory over No. 4 seed Broadneck yesterday in the Class 3A-4A, Region II girls soccer final at Chesapeake High.
The Falcons (12-1-1) gained their fourth regional championship. Assured of being the No. 1 seed, they will take the next step toward a fourth state title when they play Centennial on Saturday at Glen Burnie High.
Broadneck (9-4-1) had posted eight shutouts this year, including a 1-0 upset of Severna Park in the season's second game. Top seed Chesapeake also fell victim, losing to the Bruins, 1-0, in the regional semifinals.
But the two-goal flurry yesterday "broke them down," said Falcons coach Joyce Stefancik.
"They played a hustling game like I knew they would. They don't stop hustling. But the two goals may have broken their spirit."
Severna Park controlled the ball for most of the first half, but the game stayed scoreless until just under nine minutes remained, when junior midfielder Shelley Seivert put a direct kick from 30 yards out inside the left post. Seivert has nine goals and eight assists this year.
"I have the utmost confidence in the kids," Stefancik said. "I thought if we kept plugging away, it would fall."
Once Severna Park regained possession, freshman Lindsey Poland drove the middle of the field and passed to senior Stephanie Roberts on the right wing. Roberts got around her defender and crossed a pass back to Poland, who beat sliding Bruins keeper Tara Jensen for her eighth goal of the season.
That was more than enough, but Roberts added her team-leading 21st goal four minutes into the second half when she put in a loose ball in front of the net.
"Severna Park was so much better than we were tonight," said Broadneck coach David Lord. "They deserve to win. We could not generate any offense.
"Seivert's goal was just a great goal. Sooner or later, Shelley's going to put one in. And then the second one comes right after and it just broke our backs.
"With the little scoring that we do, we have to keep it a one-goal game. I thought we were going to go into the half 0-0 and have them where I want them."
Broadneck wasn't the only team that brought a reputation for strong defense into yesterday's game. Severna Park posted its eighth shutout while holding the Bruins without a shot on goal.
"I can't say enough about how well Severna Park played," Lord said. "We were on the defensive all night."