Unlike Bowie High School's boys soccer team in the 2011 state championship against Walter Johnson, this year's girls team was unable to stay close with a superior side in a high-stakes state playoff game.
Bowie's 4-0 loss to South River in the 4A state semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Richard Montgomery High School ended what otherwise was a very successful season for the Bulldogs. The Seahawks, however, were too quick up top and too sound along the backline for Bowie, the 4A South Region champs.
“We just got beat,” Bowie coach Aaron Hankey said. “The girls were quicker and seemed like they were in better shape.”
South River applied heavy pressure from the start of the match.
Its forwards made vertical run after vertical run through Bowie's backline, using their blistering speed to create dangerous opportunities. Sometimes the Seahawks crossed the ball, sometimes they took the shot. Each time, Bulldogs goalkeeper Ellen Anderson was forced to remain sharp. Anderson made six saves in the first half and was aided once by the post when Kristin Marsh rocketed one off the post.
“I thought we came out hard. Bowie, on paper, doesn't have the athletes or the talent that we have,” Seahawks coach John Sis said. “It doesn't matter how much you dominate. It doesn't matter. It's who finishes.”
The Seahawks took the lead in the 17th minute when Kacie Longo headed a ball past Anderson at the receiving end of a pristine cross from Madison Koenig. It was her first of three goals on the afternoon.
She also scored in the 46th and 78th minutes. But perhaps the goal with the most pageantry in the match came in the 48th minute.
With a two-goal lead, Anderson came out to challenge South River's Longo, who was streaking toward the goal. Anderson was shown a straight red card by the referee after colliding with Longo in the box. She was replaced by Bowie's backup goalkeeper Yourgelys Menjivar, who was unable to save Rebekah Petty's spot kick.
“I think if I was a goalkeeper, I would have done the same thing,” Hankey said.
Bowie's best chance to score came in the 75th minute when Nicole Hill ran down a ball on the far sideline, cut inside and rifled a shot, but it was saved by backup goalkeeper Emily Carter.
South River attempted 22 shots from a variety of spots on the field, making it a rough day for the Bulldogs' backline.
“They're really damn good up there,” Hankey said. “We needed to keep [Longo] closer marked. The defense just got tired out and we couldn't keep up.”
Girls soccer 4A state semifinal
South River 4, Bowie 0
Bowie (13-2) 0 0 — 0
South River (17-2) 1 3 — 4
South River —Kacie Longo 3 (17', 46', 78'), Rebekah Petty (48')
Bowie — Ellen Anderson, 7, Yourgelys Menjivar 2
South River — Emily Proctor 2, Emily Carter 1