Members of Roland Park’s girls soccer knew how big their contest with host Severn was going to be but first they had the deal with the lengthy bus ride to Anne Arundel County.

“Coming into this game, Severn was number one and we were number two, so we knew this was a big game especially with us coming on the road,” said Reds goalie Betsy Angel.  “It was a long drive but we did it last year, so we knew we could do it again.”

Sophomore midfielder Nikki Hudson scored what would be the game-winning goal in the 36th minute and Angel made six saves to help visiting Roland Park defeat the Admirals, 1-0, on Wednesday afternoon.

Senior defender Betsy Hebert set up for a free kick from about 35 yards out.  She lofted the ball into the box where Hudson corralled it and kicked it past a diving Allie Schuh with the two almost colliding.

It took the referees a second to make the call but Hudson was awarded the goal. (Video of goal)

“I got tripped and [the ref] called it a foul,” said Hudson.  “Betsy made the [free kick], I trusted it and slid it in.”

She added: “It was a long drive but it was worth it. I’m really proud of the team.”

With the win, the Reds improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the IAAM B Conference while Severn dropped its first conference game and fell to 6-4 and 4-1 respectively.

“We definitely weathered a big storm,” said Roland Park coach Kevin Cooper.  “Severn will definitely be there toward the end, they are very talented team and I told the girls we did enough to get the victory.”

“Our defense stepped up and our keeper was huge,” he added. “ The one opportunity we got, we took advantage of it.  I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The Reds received a strong effort on defense from Hebert, Catherine Mitchell and Beth Kelly among others.  Hudson even drifted back and thwarted a couple of Severn’s scoring opportunities.

The host Admirals had several good looks at the goal to tie the game but could not convert on their chances.

Midway through the second half, sophomore Kelly Reese ran down a ball that forced Angel out of the goal.  The two ran into each other and with Angel on the ground, Reese centered the ball to Brooke Sulerzyski but she pushed the shot wide left.

Later with time running out, Severn got another chance when junior Abby Ritter passed the ball ahead to Reese who fired it toward the goal but Angel was there to make the save from her knees.

“The defense played really well today,” said Angel.  “They covered for each other, stepped it up and didn’t let too many balls get back there.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for Roland Park, which will play host to No. 15 Bryn Mawr, the defending B Conference champions, on Friday at 4 p.m.

Severn will look to get back on track when it travels to St. John’s Catholic Prep, also on Friday.

“In the last three games we’ve been struggling quite a bit just to connect and make anything happen,” said Severn coach Adam Ritchie.  “We were all over them but their keeper kept them in the game for sure.  We don’t have that urge to score or that want to win that we must have.”


Roland Park Country 1, Severn 0
Roland Park101
Roland Park-Hudson.
Roland Park-Hebert.
Roland Park-Angel 6; Severn-Schuh 1.