In her first three varsity seasons, Severn midfielder Kelly Reese could afford to sit back and focus on setting up teammates around the net. The Admirals always had enough proven offensive firepower that there was no pressure for the Virginia recruit to do the finishing.
Now a senior, Reese knows she’ll get an earful from Coach Irene Sotiropoulos if she doesn’t force the issue and attack the goal herself at least a few times per game.
“I’m better at feeding, so I’m always hesitant to go to goal,” Reese said. “That’s one thing I always hear from [Sotiropoulos.] I kind of listen to her, and if she says, ‘Reese, see what you have,’ then I take that as my cue to go.”
Reese found that balance in Thursday’s 11-6 win over No. 5 Severna Park at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold. She scored twice and assisted two more as the ninth-ranked Admirals rolled to a convincing victory over the rival Falcons, avenging a loss from last season.
Severna Park, which has won five of the past six Maryland 4A titles, tied the game at two with goals 50 seconds apart midway through the first half, but Severn (3-2) controlled play the rest of the way.
Sophomore Caroline Steele spun off a defender in front of the goal to score the go-ahead goal with 9 minutes 57 seconds left in the first half, sparking a 7-1 run that stretched deep into the second half. She later added another score in the decisive burst utilizing a similar move. In all, seven different Admirals scored with junior Annie Ingler and senior Blair Coughlin also adding two goals apiece.
But Reese set the pace, playing for the final time against several youth teammates who now suit up for Severna Park. The midfielder scored the game’s first goal with a gritty effort to pick up a loose ball in traffic around the net, and she was strong throughout at the draw circle.
Down the stretch, Reese helped seal the victory, posting her other three points in the final 18 minutes. That included a beautiful play on which she chased down the loose ball off the draw and then fed Coughlin on the run for an easy tally.
“She’s very comfortable being the support player,” Sotiropoulos said. “Last year, she very much was. This year, I said to her, ‘Kelly, you can’t just be a support player anymore.’ . . . I said, ‘You need to take the game over endline to endline,’ and she did today.”
Senior Weston Butcher scored the game-winning goal with 4:07 remaining, and the No. 10 Severna Park boys’ team held on to beat No. 7 Severn, 9-8, at Spalding. At the final whistle, the Falcons piled on top of senior goalie Dylan Pasiuk, celebrating a victory that snapped a 13-game losing streak against Severn (4-2) that stretched back to 1980.
A day after dropping a 6-5 decision to Spalding, Severna Park (2-1) found a way to win another battle with an MIAA-A Conference opponent. The Falcons scored the first three goals of the second half to take a 6-4 lead and kept it until senior Ryan Lamon’s fifth goal of the game tied it at 8 with 4:16 left.
Junior Tyler Haskell won the ensuing faceoff for Severna Park, and Butcher, a Penn State commit, ripped in his fourth goal nine seconds later to put the Falcons in front for good.
“I just think heart won this game for us, pretty much,” Butcher said. “When it comes down to it, we wanted it more than they did at the end of the day.”