Spalding girls soccer keeps streak alive with 2-1 win over Severn

Ensor ensures No. 8 Cavaliers get win after furious comeback

September 24, 2014|By Bob Hough | Baltimore Sun Media Group

Archbishop Spalding girls soccer coach Ashly Kennedy was not immediately certain who scored the go-ahead goal against Severn on Wednesday.

By the time Sarah Ensor was identified as the goal's author, the No. 8 Cavaliers had won their 15th straight regular season game in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference against teams other than McDonogh.

Spalding fought back from a late deficit and scored two goals in the final 13 minutes to knock off the No. 3 Admirals, 2-1.

"The energy was the game-changer in today's game," Spalding coach Ashly Kennedy said. "We had to adjust in the second half and we had to play a little more direct and work really hard and scrap a little bit."

After a scoreless first half, Severn's Taylor Critcher scored two minutes into the second half off a nice feed from Michelle Money to give Severn a 1-0 lead.

The Severn defense was repeatedly clearing the ball out of harm's way and was able to stand tall against a Spalding attack that had produced five straight wins by a combined 16-1.

Kennedy said she pulled her nine seniors aside with 15 minutes left in the game and asked them to dig a little deeper.

"I think they actually had the better hand of the game, to be honest," Kennedy said. "I asked them to have the willingness to go through the ball, get a body on someone and be more optimistic around the goal, and I think they produced that over the last 15 minutes."

It didn't take long following the talk for the Cavaliers to tie the game. Ensor, one of the nine seniors and a captain, slid a pass to Allie Brimmer, who was able to beat Admirals goalie Alayah Hightower from the left side to tie the game 1-1 with 12:29 left.

The Cavaliers kept the pressure on and had a chance to take the lead at the nine-minute mark, but Severn's Abbie Manning ran Marissa Brown off the ball to deny a quality chance. Less than a minute later, however, Spalding got the go-ahead goal when Ensor ran down a loose ball near the goal line following Bailey Price's header and slid it in the goal to make it 2-1, Spalding.

Price's header appeared destined to go in, but after playing so many close games with the Admirals over the last two years, Ensor got the last touch and made sure the Cavaliers went ahead.

"Some players were coming off the bench and we knew we had to bring our energy up, and I think as a result of that we got that first goal," Ensor said. "At that point, we were so close and we needed to finish it."

The victory is Spalding's fifth straight over Severn, including the last three by a goal.

"They're a good team and it's always a tough game," Severn coach Albert Oni said.

Hightower stopped seven shots for the Admirals, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Severn (8-2)01—1

Arch. Spalding (7-2)02—2

GOALS: SE — Critcher; AS — Brimmer, Ensor. ASSISTS: SE — Money; AS — Ensor, Price, Elman. SAVES: SE — Hightower 7; AS — C. Willard 2. SHOTS: SE — 7; AS — 9. CORNERS: SE — 1; AS — 2.

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