Throughout the season, the Severna Park girls soccer team has found an unbeatable recipe for success: strong defense, good communication and opportune scoring. That formula worked again on Friday night as the Falcons defeated the visiting Towson Generals 1-0 in the Class 3A state quarterfinals, keeping their perfect season alive.
Caitlyn Boucher’s goal roughly 30 minutes into the contest proved to be the difference.
In the opening minutes of the contest, the goalkeepers for Severna Park and Towson traded saves. About 20 minutes into play, Maria Bragg split the Towson defense and likely would have scored if not for a sliding stop by a Towson defender. The back-and-forth continued, and two minutes later, the Generals had an open path to the goal and a golden opportunity. But that opening closed quickly, as Emerson Scott appeared and thwarted a possible Towson goal.
“It’s definitely a team sport, so although you might think things go unnoticed, it never does,” Scott said of her effort. “When someone else scores, like that’s your team, your family, and then kind of being in the right spot is crucial because we’re a unit. When someone plays me the ball and I play it off someone else, everyone knows what that person is going to do and so we all contribute. When one person scores, everybody scores, so it speaks to how much of a team sport it is.”
That selfless mentality was on display throughout the contest, and the stalemate was snapped moments later when Boucher scored the game’s only goal from a corner kick.
“[Francesca Dunoyer] played a great ball in,” Boucher said after the game. “Ryn [Feemster] got on it, as usual, with her head, which is honestly more impressive than my finish. She played it right to me and I just tried to flick it around the goalie, and it went in.”
In the second half, Severna Park had chances to add to their safety net, but they had trouble converting those chances. Towson’s goalkeeper smothered one shot headed for the middle of the net. Another attempt sailed just over the crossbar. One shot hit the right post. The Falcons were close, but that did not yield comfort as their lead stayed thin.
On the other end, Lily Diedrich preserved Severna Park’s lead with several impressive saves.
After the game ended and his team secured the 1-0 victory, Falcons head coach Rick Stimpson was not worried about the missed chances.
“I thought we were sharp getting the ball up there, getting around the box, and they had one clean off the line; we hit the post,” he said. “That happens from time to time. You need a little bit of luck. But we got the one that we needed and that was obviously vital today.”
Scott believes there is no reason to overthink the result. She believes her squad has a strong makeup and all the necessary ingredients of a championship caliber team.
“Don’t let the last game dictate how you do the next game, like having a goldfish memory,” she said when asked how the team can keep their momentum going. “It goes out of your mind, and keep it fresh, and just do what we know how to do. We have practiced it and we’ve worked on it, so just honing our skills and keep pushing forward.”
Severna Park will play in the state semifinals next weekend against the winner of River Hill and Colonel Zadok Magruder. The Falcons are one game away from the state finals, which they last reached in 2019.
“I always say for the team, you have to have ability, desire, and you have to have a little bit of luck,” Stimpson said. “I think we’ve had teams the last year or two that could compete, but in the playoffs, we just didn’t have that little bit of luck that we needed.
“I think this year, we are definitely stronger than last year, so I like our chances especially with the players in the back keeping us in every game. The way everyone is playing together and pushing each other, hopefully we can keep pushing all the way to the end.”