The South River girls' soccer team was fired up before its return to the Anne Arundel County championship game against Severna Park yesterday, and junior Crystal Curry made sure the Seahawks would not waste those emotions.
Curry's header of a corner kick from senior Shara Greulich one minute into the game gave the Seahawks the momentum they needed en route to a 2-0 victory over four-time defending champion Severna Park at Southern High.
"It was a huge adrenaline rush for everyone when we got that first goal," said Curry, who also assisted on Rachel Fry's goal in the 68th minute. "We were prepared for this game. We said from the start of the season that we were going to go all the way. I can still feel the adrenaline."
On a chilly afternoon in Harwood, the eighth-ranked Seahawks (13-1-1) set the tone early, attacking throughout and affording the Falcons (12-1-2) few offensive chances. South River outshot Severna Park 21-5, in large part because of strong midfield play, led by senior Brandi Sutphin. Meantime, the Seahawks' defense and senior goalkeeper Jacque Sutphin adeptly handled what few balls did make it downfield.
"Brandi manages to win every ball," South River Coach Keith Fontaine said. "Even when she's not giving us the big goal, she's dominating."
Severna Park had won the previous four county championship games, including wins over South River in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Last year, the Seahawks did not make the championship game after finishing tied for second place and losing a coin flip to Arundel.
South River and Severna Park played to a scoreless tie in a regular season matchup Monday.
"I don't want to reminisce about the past," Fontaine said. "But we wanted to get to here this year and prove a point."
Jones Leads Patriots
Old Mill senior Wijy Jones's penalty kick sent the Patriots to their first Anne Arundel County boys' championship with a 2-1 victory over South River in Millersville.
"It feels really good, especially with the way nobody gave us credit," Jones said. "I've been on this team for four years and we've never gotten the credit we deserved, even this year."
It was the second meeting between the teams this week. Old Mill (10-1-1) prevailed, 1-0, on Tuesday.
Jones was awarded the penalty kick when a teammate was slide-tackled by a South River player in the box. When Jones lined up for the kick against South River senior goalkeeper Steve Ridgeway, he kept his eye on which way the goalie was leaning.
"He guessed really early so I had to be cocky and put it in the middle," said Jones, who was hoisted onto his teammates' shoulders after delivering the winning goal.
The Patriots took a 1-0 lead when junior midfielder-defender Chris Moran scored in the second half. But South River senior back Scott Forney answered with 17 minutes 53 seconds remaining to tie the game 1-1. Old Mill junior goalkeeper Tim Carrier had 19 saves. South River outshot Old Mill 24-16.
"We're not generating offense, bottom line," South River Coach Greg Carroll said. "We're not finishing the opportunities we have. We mis-kick, we pass when we should be shooting . . . our offense has been stagnant . . . [Old Mill] finishes the ball."