On a veteran laden Severna Park High girls’ soccer team, it was newcomer Abby Thomas who got the Falcons the District V title at Meade Tuesday night. The freshman booted in the lone goal as No. 4 Severna Park claimed a 1-0 decision over seventh-ranked Marriotts Ridge.
“It’s really exciting being District V champs. We [Severna Park] worked really hard to get here and our defense has been really strong for us all year,” said Thomas, whose team advanced its mark to 12-0-3.
“It was a great win for the girls, we have been banged up all season and it was nice to see a couple of different girls get into our lineup,” said Severna Park girls soccer coach Todd Clark.
Seven minutes into the contest, Thomas got the ball into the net, thanks to an assist from Marisa Kresge.
“Marisa [Kresge] did a really good job crossing the ball for and I was able to get in off a deflection,” said Thomas.
“We [Marriotts Ridge] initially struggled, in the first ten minutes we had a lot of breakdowns which lead to a goal,” said Marriotts Ridge girls soccer coach Robin Grey. “Overall once we settled down and played our game I think we represented Howard County very well.”
Severna Park sophomore forward Carly Synder put pressure on the Marriotts Ridge (12-2-1) as she was able to penetrate the Mustang defense early in the game. That pressure turned into a goal for the Falcons as Thomas was in the right place at the right time as she slipped the ball past Marriotts Ridge goalie Kristene Mumby.
With the one goal advantage, the swarming defense of Severna Park protected their lead for 73 minutes as they continued to carry over their impressive performance from the regular season to the District V title game. During the regular season the Falcons allowed four goals over 14 games, best in Anne Arundel County.
Tuesday, Severna Park allowed eight total shots of which three were on goal as it was able to contain the Mustangs offense led by Alexandria Price, Kara Schaffer and Maxine Brewer. The trio scored 33 goals for the Howard County champs during the regular season.
The Mustangs did turn the intensity on the defensive end as they limited the Falcons to three shots in the second half. But even with the heighten defensive pressure the offense for Marriotts Ridge couldn’t breakthrough. The Falcons’ backfield of Morgan Taylor, Erika Spilker and Morgan Torggler made things easy for goalie Alexandra Cavey has she only threaten a few times in the entire game.
“Our backs did a great job of holding that back line together,” said Clark. “Morgan Taylor does a great job in space and cleans up those balls that come near the backside.”
Both teams now begin their preparation for the state region tournament next week. Severna Park will do battle with either county foe Arundel or North Point from southern Maryland in Tuesday’s East Region quarterfinals, while Marriotts Ridge host Calvert or Oakland Mills in the 2A South quarterfinals.
“We know what Arundel will give to us and they knew what we will give to them and it’s just going to be kind of a battle. We got to posses the ball better than what we did tonight and if we can do that we take advantage of the opportunities we get, if we give the ball away, it is going to be a long night,” said Clark.
“I think we came out ready in the first half, we showed that we could step up,” said Thomas.
Despite the loss Grey believes that this game will serve as a great learning tool as the Mustangs.
“We have only practiced one time on a turf field so this was a good experience for us tonight,” said Grey. “If we want to keep winning will have to be able to play for a full 80 minutes.”
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DISTRICT V CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 4 Severna Park 1, No. 7 Marriotts Ridge 0
MR-Mumby 4; SP-Cavey 3.