Timing right for S. River
Clement’s OT goal brings Severna Park down, 1-0
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.”
South River players celebrate their victory Wednesday night over Severna Park, which had won the past three state championships.