S. River tops Du­laney, 2-0

De­fense strong for No. 2 Sea­hawks, who will will play Churchill on Satur­day

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Bob Hough

BURTONSVILLE — Kas­sidy Bres­na­han watched her sis­ter, Tay­lor, win a state cham­pi­onship with the South River field hockey team in 2012.

Nowa se­nior, Kas­sidy will have a chance to win a state ti­tle of her own.

Bres­na­han was part of an­other strong de­fen­sive ef­fort, and Lau­ren Sch­legel and Maia Cheeks scored to lead the No. 2 Sea­hawks to a 2-0 vic­tory over No. 11 Du­laney on Wed­nes­day in a Class 4A state semi­fi­nal at Paint Branch.

South River (17-1-1) is in the state fi­nal for the sixth time and is look­ing for its fifth state ti­tle and first since 2012.

The Sea­hawks will play Win­ston Churchill (16-0) in Satur­day’s fi­nal at Wash­ing­ton Col­lege. The Bull­dogs, who are in the state fi­nal for the sev­enth time, ad­vanced with a 1-0 vic­tory over Spring­brook in the other semi­fi­nal. They won state ti­tles in 1978 and1983, and are mak­ing their first ap­pear­ance in the fi­nal since 1985.

“It’s an awe­some feel­ing. I al­most feel some pres­sure be­cause she won a state cham­pi­onship and now I have to win one,” Bres­na­han said of her sis­ter. “It’s awe­some that we’ve got­ten this far, and I’m just happy with how we’ve been play­ing.”

South River, which came into the game 7-0 in one-goal games, was in an­other tight bat­tle Wed­nes­day. The Lions (13-5) car­ried the play early, but the Sea­hawks ended the first half with a 4-2 ad­van­tage in shots and penalty cor­ners. Bres­na­han made a good play to get a clear inside 10 min­utes when the Lions be­gan press­ing; South River’s As Du­laney pres­sures the ball, South River’s McKen­zie Jami­son ad­vances to the goal. The Sea­hawks next will face a Churchill team that has outscored its op­po­nents 50-4. best chance came a few min­utes ear­lier when Darcy Cle­ment sent a shot to­ward the cage that was stopped by Du­laney’s Alli Hill.

The Sea­hawks con­tin­ued to pres­sure early in the se­cond half and nearly went up, but Sarah King’s drive off a penalty cor­ner went just wide. Bres­na­han made an­other good play five min­utes later when she re­cov­ered to deny a good scor­ing chance from Emma Klein.

Af­ter Paige Ford made a good stop off a de­flec­tion at the 20-minute mark, the Sea­hawks went ahead four min­utes later when Sch­legel took con­trol of a re­bound and put the ball into the cage for the only goal the Sea­hawks would need.

“It was off of a cor­ner, and I was just in the right place at the right time,” Sch­legel said. “I just saw the ball and I knew I had to go for it.”

The Sea­hawks didn’t sit back on the lead and at­tempted four more cor­ners the rest of the game while yield­ing none to the Lions. Cheeks added the in­sur­ance goal with1:48 left and al­lowed the team to be­gin look­ing ahead to Satur­day.

“We’ve been work­ing re­ally hard with our de­fense and stay­ing con­fi­dent and play­ing very smart, tech­ni­cal de­fense,” said South River coach Me­gan Atkin­son, who was an as­sis­tant coach on the 2012 team. “Know­ing that our de­fense is go­ing to be stand­ing strong be­hind us gives our of­fense the op­por­tu­nity to be a lit­tle more ag­gres­sive and take those risks.”

South River will face a Churchill team that has outscored its op­po­nents 50-4 and has posted 12 shutouts.

“We’ve worked so hard to get to that day, and once we get there, it’s in [her play­ers’] hands,” Atkin­son said.

MATTHEW COLE/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP PHO­TOS

South River cel­e­brates its 2-0 vic­tory over Du­laney. The Sea­hawks are in the state fi­nal for the sixth time and look­ing for their fifth state ti­tle and first since 2012. “It’s awe­some that we’ve got­ten this far,” se­nior Kas­sidy Bres­na­han said.

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