Minutes into the second half of Severna Park’s girls soccer match with rival Broadneck, the ball squirted clear from a goalmouth scramble and right to the foot of Falcons freshman midfielder Izzy Burleson.
“I really just was hoping I wouldn’t miss,” she said.
Those worries proved unfounded, as she smashed her shot in off the goalpost to break the deadlock and send the Falcons on their way to a 2-1 win on Tuesday evening.
Several shot attempts were blocked in the frantic sequence and a crowd formed in front of Broadneck keeper Kyleigh Bland, leaving precious little space to shoot at.
“I saw the keeper was to the right side, so I knew there was open space on the left, but not a lot,” Burleson said. “I just hit it hard and hoped it went in.”
The goal broke 44 minutes of resistance from the Broadneck defense, and it took another 20 minutes for the Falcons to double their lead on a goal that was as well-worked as Burleson’s opener was opportunistic.
Sophomore left back Emerson Scott dribbled past a defender and pinged a long diagonal cross to right winger Sara Kreis, who drove down the right side and whipped in a cross that Sarah Stefancik flicked past Bland and into the net to spark celebrations, the game finally having been made safe.
“You never want to let up, because there’s still time on the clock, but you can be a little more confident and just manage the game from there,” said Severna Park senior defender Caitlyn Boucher. “It’s the first time we’ve beaten them in a while, so we were really focused on finishing it out.”
Severna Park (5-0-0 overall, 4-0-0 in county play) demonstrated greater comfort on the pitch, both with the ball and out of possession. The Falcons passed confidently and retained possession, while forcing Broadneck (5-2-1, 1-2-1) to give the ball away with regularity.
“That had more to do with them than it did with us,” said Broadneck coach John Camm. “They are a really good team. They put together good passages of play, possessed the ball. Have to give them a lot of credit for how they played.”
The Bruins registered one shot on goal in the opening minutes, where they nearly scored directly from a corner kick, but they didn’t get another until Mia Orso scored with seconds remaining in the game.
That goal led to one last-gasp push for the equalizer, but the Bruins turned the ball over and the final whistle followed.
Bland had nine saves for Broadneck, including two fit for the highlight reel, while Lily Diedrich had just one save to make for Severna Park.
Broadneck visits Arundel and Severna Park visits Glen Burnie on Thursday.