South River pair are who's who

October 30, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

Just who are Jess Marion and Cassidie Dunbar, and why are girls soccer coaches saying such flattering things about the South River pair?

Severna Park assistant Chuck Seivert after a scoreless tie with South River: "Marion is all-state material, maybe Dunbar, too."

Chesapeake's Lin Sullivan, after his Cougars lost to South River on Sept. 23: "Those two are the best two players in the state."

Sullivan said that to the media. To the girls, after the South River 2-1 win in which Marion and Dunbar each scored a goal, he toned down his remarks, but only slightly.

To Dunbar as she walked out of Chesapeake Stadium: "You have my All-County vote."

To Marion: "You definitely have my All-County vote."

Marion doubtless has a lot more votes after scoring the overtime goal that nipped No. 6 Severna Park (10-2-1) in Tuesday's county championship game. It was the only goal in 182 minutes between the two best teams in the county.

No. 7 South River (11-0-2) will entertain Atholton on Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Class 1A-2A South Region playoffs.

Marion, a junior center striker, leads the county in goals (21) and has four assists. Dunbar, a senior center midfielder, has 10 and 10.

They work together like a finely tuned machine, Dunbar maneuvering from behind to feed the ball to Marion. They have played together for three years.

"When Jess and I are on, I don't think anybody can stop us," Dunbar said.

This season, no team has. Marion and Dunbar have accounted for 31 of unbeaten South River's 45 goals. .

"Jess and Cassidie seem to share a brain," coach Will Pharr said. "Each always seems to know where the other is and how she will respond without the ball. I've seen all the county teams and I haven't seen two girls who work as well together as these."

Part of Dunbar's job is to make it as easy as possible for Marion to score.

"If Cassidie has the ball, I can tell if she's going to dribble or set up a give and go, pass to me so that I can give it right back to her," Marion said.

Said Cassidie, "Jess is the fastest player in the county. When I have the ball and she takes off, I can usually get it to her when she's one-on-one and can put it away."

It is the same way in basketball. Dunbar is the shooting guard, Marion the point guard.

"We run and gun," Dunbar said. "When Jess and I are working together, teams can't stop our fast break."

Marion has been playing soccer since she was 8, starting in a Davidsonville youth program. Dunbar, a year older, also started when she was 8, in the Mayo rec league.

"The one time we played against each other, Mayo against Davidsonville, we crushed Jess' team," Dunbar said.

They have seldom been at odds since. With Marion and Dunbar leading the charge, the Seahawks have attained their first goal of winning the county championship.

Two more goals remain, to win the state championship and finish undefeated.

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