Sydney Watson is not typically fond of celebrations. After her long-range shot gave Calvert an early lead in the Maryland 2A South girls’ soccer final, the senior turned toward the bench and simply shrugged her shoulders.
An hour of regulation, two overtimes and one position switch to goalkeeper later, Watson finally let loose. After saving Southern’s final penalty kick, she leapt in the air and rushed into her teammates’ arms. After a 2-2 tie, Calvert advanced to the state semifinals with a 3-1 shootout win Tuesday night in Prince Frederick.
“I’ve never been really big on celebrations. I try to stay calm, cool and collected,” Watson said. “After we won, though, I couldn’t help it.”
Southern applied most of the pressure in the early going with three corner kicks in the opening 15 minutes. Momentum suddenly shifted when Watson unleashed a shot from 30 yards out that curled into the top corner.
Five minutes before halftime, Calvert freshman Kayleigh Venice slid a through ball to forward Anita Pope. After the sophomore’s initial shot bounced off Southern goalkeeper Madison Sturgell, Pope finished her own rebound to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead at the break.
“It’s relatively well-known that a two-goal lead is the worst lead to have in soccer, so that’s what we told them at halftime” Southern Coach Brooke Walsh said.
Forward Jordan Brady willed Southern back into the game with two goals in a 60-second span. First the senior dribbled past two defenders down the left wing and finished at the near post. With 25 minutes left, Brady forced home a corner kick to level the score.
“Their comeback was a bit of a shock. We had to get our composure together,” Calvert junior midfielder Calle Garneau said.
In penalties, Watson took the gloves from sophomore Patti Massie and watched Southern’s first attempt sail high and wide. Then Watson took Calvert’s first attempt that was saved by Sturgell. Watson redeemed herself with saves on Southern’s third and fourth penalty kicks to secure the victory.
“I missed mine and was like, ‘Okay, I can’t let the team down,’ ” Watson said. “I was like, ‘Come on, Sydney, you have to save one.’ ”
Calvert will face Century in the state semifinals Friday or Saturday at River Hill. The Cavaliers have defeated Southern in the 2A South region final in three straight seasons.
●CENTURY 2, DAMASCUS 1: Damascus junior Drew Dunathan tied the game at the beginning of the second half before Century scored with 24 minutes remaining and held on to win the Maryland 2A North title.
●NORTHERN 1, CHESAPEAKE 0: Senior Brittaney Reffit scored midway through the second half to lift Northern in the Maryland 3A East title game. The Patriots will face Bel Air on Saturday at Linganore.
●PERRY HALL 1, BLAIR 0: In the Maryland 4A North final, Perry Hall scored with six minutes remaining to edge Blair.
●NORTH POINT 5, PARKDALE 0: Junior Mikayla Johnson scored a hat trick in the first half to lead North Point in the Maryland 4A South final. The Eagles will face the winner of Wednesday’s Maryland 4A West final between Walter Johnson and Wootton.
●ELEANOR ROOSEVELT 0, NORTHWESTERN 0 (ER advances, 4-3 on penalty kicks): Eleanor Roosevelt repeated as Maryland 4A South boys’ soccer champions with a shootout win over Northwestern. The Raiders will face the winner of Wednesday’s 4A West final between Walter Johnson and Northwest.