STORY COURTESY ANNAPOLIS CAPITAL
Kaitlin Maloy had one thing on her mind, and she made it happen. Then she did it again.
Maloy stuffed two quick, left-side shots into the cage to quell Bryn Mawr's potent attack and guide South River to a 3-0 victory yesterday for the South River Invitational championship.
"I just wanted to get the ball and shoot it once we were in the circle," said Maloy, who connected in each half to take the pressure off the Seahawks' defense. "They were really, really good. We just really wanted it."
Shannon Denno added a second-half goal, and Emily Melanson made two saves for her second shutout in less than five hours.
The Seahawks (3-0) opened the tournament with a 7-0 victory over Quince Orchard, last season's Class 4A state runner-up, and have outscored their opponents, 15-0.
"It's a good way to start off the season," said Brooke Griffin, who scored twice and assisted on two goals against the Cougars and finished with a team-high five points.
Griffin smashed a long cross to the left corner for an open Maloy, who lifted a hard shot past Mawrtians goalkeeper Taylor Sorenson 3 minutes, 20 seconds into the second half to make it 2-0.
Griffin made a hard charge to obstruct Bailey Johnson's shot on Bryn Mawr's penalty corner, and Jennie Milligan stole the ball. Milligan sent an outlet pass to Griffin, who streaked down the right sideline to set up a 2-on-1 breakaway.
"They really had great backup, and they caught us off-guard," Bryn Mawr coach Jeanette Budzik said. "It's not good to lose, but it's good to learn from other teams."
But it was Maloy's first goal that eased South River's attack.
Moments after Bryn Mawr successfully defended a penalty corner, Courtney Thompson played a fast pass to Maloy on the left. Maloy blocked the ball with her stick, lifting it over her head and deep into the circle. She then beat a pair of defenders to the ball and lined a shot halfway up the empty cage for a 1-0 lead with 8:12 left in the first.
"We don't usually get, at this level, high shots like that," Mawrtians midfielder Evie Freeman said. "I'm sure our goalie was prepared for it at all."
Even Maloy, who gave South River a 5-0 lead with a second-half goal against Quince Orchard, was surprised by the shot.
"I definitely didn't mean to lift it as high," she said. "I just wanted to shoot as soon as I was in the circle, and I wanted to push it as far as I could."
Denno converted off a penalty corner with 11:25 to play. She controlled a loose ball in the Mawrtians' goal box and tucked it across the line to for a three-goal edge.
South River held Bryn Mawr to three shots and one penalty corner in the first 53:19 to help Melanson push her scoreless stretch to 3 hours, 24 minutes, dating back to last season.
"They beat us last year, and they're one of the top teams in the (Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland) A Conference," Seahawks coach Katie Corcoran said. "It's a great win for us, especially early in the season."
The Mawrtians nearly snapped the streak off a penalty corner with 6:41 left, but Lauren Nelson's wide open, two-yard tap on the left corner hit the cage.
Melanson blocked Molly Danko's right-side rebound five minutes later, and South River closed the game by turning away four consecutive penalty-corner opportunities.
"It's that one hit or that one touch or that one shot that makes a difference," Budzik said. "They had three of them, and we didn't."