When the final whistle blew on the early season heavyweight field hockey match between No. 1 Severna Park and No. 3 South River, the Falcons players ran to the far end of the field to find senior goalie Cait Coletti and piled on top of her in celebration.
Coletti made a pivotal save just before halftime to keep the score knotted at 0-0 and senior forward Madeline Ross scored the winning goal to help Severna Park hold on to a 1-0 victory in Edgewater on Wednesday night.
“This was a big game, it’s always a big game because we’ve been rivals for years and years,” said Severna Park coach Lil Shelton. “Usually it’s very close, 1-0 is nothing new.”
The Falcons remain undefeated and improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in Anne Arundel league play. The Seahawks dropped to 2-1 and 0-1 respectively.
With 11.4 seconds remaining until halftime, South River junior midfielder Stacey Mackintosh was awarded a penalty stroke after Coletti was called for laying on the ball after making a save.
Stuck in a scoreless tie, it looked like the Seahawks would get the first goal of the contest. Mackintosh loaded up and fired the ball towards the cage but Coletti swatted it away to keep the contest even.
“I was so nervous, my heart was just thumping,” Coletti said. “I thought ‘I have to stop this. I have to stop this.’ She shot it and in my mind I was like ‘Yes!’”
“I knew she had it,” said Ross. “We have complete faith in her…That was a game changer.”
In a battle between two of the top three teams in the latest Varsity Sports Network Field Hockey poll, both teams knew that goals would be hard to come by. The first team to score would probably win and that is exactly what happened.
With 18:24 remaining, Severna Park senior forward Madeline Ross redirected a pass from senior midfielder Kelsey Fielder to score the lone goal of the game.
“I just remember Kelsey Fielder having the nicest pass, it was kind of bouncy and all I wanted to do was get my stick on it,” Ross said recalling the play in her mind. “[Coach Shelton] is always talking about being piranhas [around the goal], so I thought ‘please don’t miss this.’”
Seahawks junior goalie Shannon Flanagan had a tremendous game, making eight saves to give her team a chance to win. Several shots went wide of the goal and although South River outshot Severna Park, they couldn’t capitalize on their chances.
South River only returned three starters from last season’s team that won 16 games and coach Katie Corcoran knew it would be a tough game with so many inexperienced players.
“It’s nice to see [Severna Park] early so you can see where you’re team is,” said South River coach Katie Corcoran. “Now, we just lost to the number one team 1-0. For as young as we are, I’ll take it. I mean, if we played a better game, I think it would have been a different outcome. I think we may have tied it or gone into overtime but they were the better team tonight.”
|No. 1 Severna Park 1, No. 3 South River 0|
SP-Coletti 7; SR-Flanagan 8.