Ball, ref's call bounce Severna Park's way, 2-0

Late penalty kick helps turn back No. 6 Arundel

Girls soccer

High School

October 10, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Severna Park girls soccer coach Gary Lam has consistently preached to his team the necessity of taking advantage of lucky breaks.

The fourth-ranked Falcons are apparently good listeners as they converted a penalty kick off a questionable call and added an insurance goal to defeat visiting and No. 6 Arundel, 2-0, in Severna Park last night.

"It could've gone either way," Lam said of last night's showdown between what were the last two teams in the county with undefeated records. "We were fortunate to get a break tonight."

Severna Park (9-1-1 overall, 8-0 county) has been the beneficiary of just the right amount of karma for the past week. In a 2-1 victory over then-No. 11 Old Mill last Tuesday, sophomore striker Shannon Haddaway bounced a shot off the right post for the eventual game-winner.

And on Thursday, senior Erin Dubina's goal off the leg of a defender helped the Falcons edge then-No. 12 Broadneck, 1-0.

After 76 minutes of scoreless play last night, Severna Park got the opening it was looking for with 3:26 left in the game. An Arundel defender slid and seemed to cleanly knock the ball off Haddaway's foot, but the referee flagged the player for pulling down Haddaway in the box.

Amid a chorus of boos from Wildcats fans, senior midfielder Lauren Mitchell sent the penalty kick into the lower left corner to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.

Then, 63 seconds later, Mitchell drove an indirect kick toward the far post, where senior midfielder Kate Hickman was perfectly positioned to deflect the ball into the top shelf.

Mitchell said the goals lifted Severna Park's spirits.

"I think it was a relief because there wasn't as much pressure on us," she said. "Once we got that second goal, that was it."

Hickman said the Falcons also were inspired by comments made by some Arundel players about beating Severna Park.

"To know that a team wants to beat you so bad is motivation," she said. "If we don't match their intensity and heart, then we're not going to have a chance."

The Wildcats (9-2, 7-1) had several opportunities, including second-half shots from senior striker Jessica Upchurch and sophomore striker Alli Wilkerson.

But Falcons junior goalkeeper Brooke Shinaberry turned aside seven shots for her sixth shutout, and Arundel fell to 1-20 in its past 21 meetings with Severna Park.

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