History repeated itself when the second-seeded South River Seahawks played host to the third-seeded Broadneck Bruins Monday night.
That was good news for No. 3 South River but not such good news for No. 6 Broadneck, which dropped a second 1-0 decision to the host school this season.
The stakes were much higher this time, however, as the Seahawks (15-1) earned a trip to the 4A East Region final with Monday’s victory where it will square off with top-seeded and host Severna Park (15-1-1), an 8-0 winner against fourth-seeded Leonardtown, Wednesday.
The Bruins ended the season with a 13-3 record.
Leah Anonsen punched that ticket to the regional championship in the first half, striking in a long free hit by Courtney Thompson with 10:03 remaining before halftime. Thompson’s pass started near the football field’s 40-yard line and travelled into the circle untouched to Anonsen.
“I knew Courtney was hitting a free hit in and I knew that in order for it to count as a goal, I would have to either touch it or deflect it inside the circle,” Anonsen said. “So my main focus was to get my stick in there.
“As soon as it did [touch her stick] I knew all I needed to do was shoot and that’s what I did in the right corner. I think the goalie was not expecting it at all.”
The goal came during a half that was largely dominated by the Seahawks, who limited the Bruins to one shot and two penalty corners while producing four shots and seven corners themselves.
Neither offense did much until the latter stages of the second half when Broadneck started to control possession and attack the South River cage. On one such occasion, the Bruins appeared headed for a fast break goal with under 10 minutes to play with Seahawks goalkeeper Shannon Flanagan on the ground defending another shot, but sophomore defender Taylor Bresnahan swooped in and cleared the ball away at the last second.
“Our goalie and our defense have been playing stellar all season long,” South River coach Katie Corcoran said. “I thought that ball was going in the goal but she came out of nowhere with her stick and got that defensive save. It was beautiful. It was beautiful and our defense kept the pressure on and that’s what kept the ball out of the cage.”
The Bruins had another point-blank shot taken by Abbey Meehan kicked away by Flanagan with about 3 ½ minutes left in the match.
“If we would have played with the same intensity that we played with the end of that second half, the whole game, I think, it would have been a different outcome,” Broadneck coach Jennifer Parks said. “You’ve got to play with that intensity the whole game and I had girls who gave everything they had on the field, it just wasn’t enough tonight; hats off to South River.”
The Seahawks will now look to avenge their only loss of the season, a 1-0 setback to Severna Park, which has won five consecutive state championships.
“Definitely a little nervous but I think if we play the way we did tonight, there’s definitely a possibility,” Anonsen said. “We just played great tonight as a team. We were really intense.”