Johnson shuts door on Arundel South River goalkeeper flawless in 1-0 upset win

"I knew Erin could take charge. She's got a big heart." Joseph Acqui,South River coach.

October 10, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

South River goalkeeper Erin Johnson had quite a chore in front of her in Gambrills yesterday.

For 77 minutes, the junior was busy protecting a one-goal lead against Arundel's talented offense on a slick, rain-soaked field.

Johnson handled the task without a hint of a bobble, and Nancy Tucker's early goal stood the test of time as the No. 14-ranked Seahawks upset No. 7 Arundel, 1-0.

Johnson finished with eight saves, flawlessly taking care of all crosses and through balls with plenty of support from a hard-nosed defense.

All-Metro keeper Erin Graham's graduation was supposed to leave a big void in goal for the Seahawks. Instead, the Seahawks (7-1) simply passed the torch.

"I knew Erin [Johnson] could take charge. She's got a big heart," said South River's first-year coach, Joseph Acqui. "She's very fast, anticipates well and is very quick off her line."

Only 2: 50 had run off the game clock when Tucker scored her seventh goal of the season after the Seahawks were awarded a corner kick.

Jess Duvall's corner went to the far post for Lauren McKeever, who slipped the ball back across to Tucker.

Arundel keeper Erin Hartman turned back Tucker's first shot but couldn't handle the rebound.

"In this weather, scoring first is always good. It allowed us to tighten up on defense and put a lot of pressure on Arundel," said Acqui.

The sloppy field may have contributed to some dangerous play. Referees issued six yellow cards -- four to South River and two to the Wildcats -- most coming as a result of tackles from behind. South River senior captain Nichoal Zamarripa was sent off after she received her second yellow midway through the second half.

Even without Zamarripa to control the middle, the Seahawks found a way to turn back the surging Wildcats.

One of the Wildcats' best and final scoring opportunities came with two minutes remaining. Senior standout Kelly Jordan chipped a direct kick to the far post for junior Stephanie Battista, whose shot was smothered by Johnson.

"South River hustled and played extremely physical. They forced us out of our game," said Arundel coach Tom Degener. "Our girls gave it their all, playing 77 minutes of catch-up. I'm never upset with a loss if we played well, and I think we did tonight. Their goalie did an excellent job. She kept them in the game."

Pub Date: 10/10/98

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