Tim­ing right for S. River

Clement’s OT goal brings Sev­erna Park down, 1-0

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Bob Hough

Darcy Clement picked the per­fect time to fi­nally score on a re­verse chip.

With South River’s No. 3 field hockey team in a score­less tie with No. 8 Sev­erna Park early in over­time, Sarah King in­ter­cepted a pass and fed the ball to Clement, who had plenty of time and space to set up. She fired the ball in the cage to lift the Sea­hawks to a 1-0 win over the Fal­cons for the Class 4A East re­gion ti­tle.

“I have been try­ing those all sea­son and I re­ally wanted one to go in,” Clement said. “I just knew I needed to get it in, and if I didn’t I wouldn’t for­give my­self.”

South River (16-1-1) won its sev­enth re­gion ti­tle and first since it claimed its fourth state cham­pi­onship in 2012. The Sea­hawks will play No. 12 Du­laney, the North cham­pion, which de­feated Old Mill to ad­vance, in the state semi­fi­nals at Paint Branch on Wed­nes­day at 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. The Lions are in the state semi­fi­nals for the 13th time and sec­ond year in a row.

“I couldn’t say more about the group of girls them­selves be­cause, if there was a team I had that was go­ing to do it, it’s them,” South River coach Me­gan Atkin­son said. “They’ve worked re­ally hard all sea­son. They have great chem­istry and they sup­port one an­other on and off the field. This is the team that is go­ing to win the big games like this.”

Nei­ther team yielded much through the first 60 min­utes, but with the over­time played seven-on-seven, there was sure to be more space to cre­ate. Once King in­ter­cepted the pass and got the ball to Clement, it was the per­fect time to at­tempt the shot she had failed to score on all sea­son.

“Darcy has tried that shot sev­eral times this year, and we’ve al­ways said amongst our­selves, ‘One time it’s go­ing to go in,’ ” Atkin­son said. “Thank­fully, this was the time.”

Each team tried four penalty cor­ners, but just a few led to qual­ity chances. A shot off King’s stick went just wide mid­way through the first half. The Fal­cons had a few good chances in the sec­ond half, in­clud­ing one at the 15minute mark when South River goalie Paige Ford had to re­act quickly to knock aside a de­flec­tion.

Sev­erna Park also had a good chance a minute ear­lier when Hunter Chad­wick got by a de­fender and was head­ing to­ward the goal, but Caro­line A. Kerr raced in to sup­port.

Atkin­son also praised the de­fen­sive play of McKen­zie Jami­son in help­ing keep the Fal­cons off the score­board.

“Col­lec­tively, the team just played as a whole tonight,” Atkin­son said. “Thank­fully, all it took was one shot in over­time.”

The loss ends an im­pres­sive run for the Fal­cons, who won the past three state cham­pi­onships and came into Wed­nes­day’s game un­beaten in their past six games af­ter get­ting off to a 5-4-1 start.

“What they don’t re­al­ize right now is in 10, 20, 30 years down the road, it’s not the ti­tles they’ll re­mem­ber,” Sev­erna Park coach Ann An­drews said. “It’s the goofy stuff we do in prac­tice and all the team bond­ing stuff. Those are the things they’ll re­mem­ber and love. It’s not go­ing to be the ti­tles.”

Du­laney, which has lost in the state semi­fi­nals four times since 2009, has reached the state fi­nal only twice in its pre­vi­ous 12 trips to the state semi­fi­nals.

“They’re fast. We ac­tu­ally had them at our play day, not know­ing we’d even­tu­ally see them,” Atkin­son said. “They’re a very ath­letic and fast team.”

MATTHEW COLE/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

South River play­ers cel­e­brate their vic­tory Wed­nes­day night over Sev­erna Park, which had won the past three state cham­pi­onships.

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