In its first nine Anne Arundel County games of the season, the South River girls’ lacrosse team regularly demonstrated the speed and athleticism to blow past its opponents. Against No. 4 Severna Park on Tuesday, the fifth-ranked Seahawks realized that formula wouldn’t be enough.

Instead, South River used those athletic gifts to build a slim advantage and then spent the rest of the night showing the discipline to maintain it.

The strategy paid off in an 11-9 win that kept the young Seahawks atop the county standings.

“We had to keep the ball,” said junior Taylor Bresnahan, who had two goals and one assist. “We knew we had to have possession to keep the lead.”

After tying the game at 4 midway through the first half on a goal by junior Amber Kovalick, South River (11-2, 10-0 Anne Arundel) began leaning on its clock-control offense. Thanks to five straight draw controls, the Seahawks were able to hold the ball for most of the last 10 minutes of the half, earning three goals off free positions along the way.

That trend continued into the second half with Severna Park (11-2, 8-2) doing its best to disrupt the strategy. The Falcons managed to tie the game at eight on sophomore Kelsey Kirk’s goal with 7 minutes 29 seconds left, but South River sophomore Kacie Longo (one goal, one assist) scored 39 seconds later and the home team led the rest of the way.

The Seahawks’ win ensured Friday’s matchup with Annapolis — which upset Severna Park last week — will decide the county title.

“Sometimes it takes a win for them to believe in what you’re doing,” South River Coach  Kim McNemar said. “My kids needed to manage the game, and that’s what we did.”

Junior Morgan Torggler had three goals and junior Ryan Bathras added five assists for Severna Park, which dropped its second straight game.

South River boys hang on

In a fast start Tuesday against rival Severna Park, the South River boys’ lacrosse team kept the Falcons chasing with quick ball movement and assertive shooting. The ninth-ranked Seahawks lost much of that momentum in a lackluster second half but did enough early to earn a 7-2 win that clinched at least a share of the Anne Arundel County title.

“The defense wasn’t ready for us.” said senior Jon Carr, who led South River with three goals and two assists. “We’ve been working a lot this week on playing fast and getting good movement inside.”

Carr, a UMBC recruit, did most of his damage in the game’s first 17 minutes before Severna Park (9-4, 8-2) dug in and slowed the pace. After taking a 6-0 lead in the second quarter, South River went more than 30 minutes without a goal until Carr scored with less than two minutes remaining.

Carr’s twin brother, Chris, and freshman Dylan Mansur had a goal and an assist apiece.

“We hung in there and just survived,” said South River Coach Paul Noone, whose team can close out an undefeated regular season on Friday against Annapolis. “Win by 10, win by one, it doesn’t matter. You’ve just got to win.”