Wildcats make most of chances in first half
Falcons try to rally from down 3-0 but score just once on 11 second-half shots
Arundel and Severna Park took turns Thursday dominating the two 40-minute halves of an intense girls soccer match, but the results of those two commanding performances were starkly different, leading to a 3-1 victory for the host Wildcats.
While No. 11 Arundel (5-3-1) capitalized on two early scoring opportunities and three overall on six shots in the first half, the Falcons (3-4-3) scored only once on 11 second-half shots.
“They took advantage of their chances in the first half [and] we didn’t play our game in the first half,” Severna Park coach Brian Morgan said. “We started stringing together our passes in the second half, but hats off to them. They finished it off strong.”
Tierney Crehan set up the first goal with a near miss off the right post that was cleaned up by Kelsi Ross, who lofted a shot over Severna Park goalkeeper Jessica Wieber and into the left corner of the goal, roughly three minutes into the game. Crehan scored a little more than two minutes later, poking in an open attempt off a pass from Tessa Rendina for a 2-0 advantage.
“I was pumped up,” Crehan said. The early lead “helped us a lot. It’s a pretty big Arundel’s Kelsi Ross, right, moves in to take the ball from Severna Park’s Sarah Gellert. Ross scored the first goal roughly three minutes into Thursday’s game. win because last year we tied, so I’m pretty glad that we won.”
The Wildcats pushed their advantage to 3-0 with about seven minutes remaining before halftime on a goal by Rendina. She received a pass from Daniela Cabral from 15-plus yards out, turned against minimal pressure and shot a low line drive into the right corner.
“I told them the way they played in the first half, there’s not a team in the state that could beat that team,” Arundel coach Lauren Coe said. “That’s how they played against [No. 2] Broadneck the entire time and we took them into double overtime. These girls, when their heads are on, which is most of the time, they’re unstoppable.
“We had three wide-open opportunities [in a 1-0 loss to Chesapeake-AA] we didn’t finish, so all we worked on [in practice] was finishing and overlapping ... and they came out in the first half and just completely nailed it.”
When the game resumed, however, it was Severna Park that was the aggressor, resulting in several quality chances. Unlike their opponent, the Falcons did not find the back of the net until Jenna Farrell scored off a a 50-yard free kick from captain Sarah Gellert with roughly two minutes left in the game.
“We didn’t come out as fired up as we should have in the second half,” Crehan said.
Many of those chances were turned away by Arundel goalkeeper Sabrina Doherty (11 saves) while others sailed just over or wide of the goal, including a point-blank chip that floated through the football uprights and another close-range opportunity that hit the upright’s crossbar.
“There were some good moments; it’s something we’re working on,” Morgan said.