Marriotts Ridge started its season in style Thursday evening. On the road against Oakland Mills, the Mustangs scored three times in the opening 15 minutes and never looked back en route to a convincing 4-0 victory. For a Marriotts Ridge team that hadn’t played a game or scrimmage in nearly two weeks, the start was about as good as coach Kevin Flynn could have hoped for.
“The very first thing I put on the chalkboard before we left was ‘get off to a good start,’ ” Flynn said. “It’s been awhile for us since we’ve played against someone other than ourselves, so we needed to get out there and get going early.
“This is a hard place to play and (Oakland Mills) plays well here … we wanted to come out and get ahead.”
Just three minutes after the opening kickoff, Sam Willsey got the Marriotts Ridge offensive outburst started when he headed home a corner kick by Brad Martinelli. A couple minutes later, Martinelli found himself on the other end of things when he finished a feed from Nick Applegate to make it 2-0.
Then, before Oakland Mills was able to fully regroup, Connor Delaney pushed the lead to three. Off another corner kick, Delaney headed one in off a pass from Applegate.
Neither team managed a goal over the next 50 minutes of game action, spanning the end of the first and beginning of the second half. It wasn’t until 15:13 remained in regulation that Sean Harrison capped the scoring with a header into the right corner off a free kick by Brad Martinelli.
Harrison’s goal gave the Mustangs three goals on the day courtesy of set pieces.
“Yesterday, our entire practice was about set pieces, so it’s definitely something that we’ve talked about a lot,” Flynn said. “Brad gives great service and puts the ball where he needs to. When you have the kind of weapons we do, we can get a lot (of goals) if we’re executing.”
In the loss, Oakland Mills (0-1, 3-1) got 10 saves from goalie Hasson Mostafa. Marriotts Ridge (1-0, 1-0) goalies Ryan Miller and Eric Augustino split time in net, making three and one save, respectively.
Marriotts Ridge 4, Oakland Mills 0
Goals: MR – Martinelli, Willsey, Delaney, Harrison.
Assists: MR – Applegate 2, Martinelli 2.
Saves: MR – Miller, Augustino; OM – Mostafa 10.
Half: 3-0 MR.
Reservoir 2, Howard 0
The Gators scored once in each half and played lockdown defense the entire game to secure a season-opening shutout. After losing the midfield battle in the first half, Reservoir coach Reg Hahne says he was pleased with the halftime adjustments his squad made to control the game down the stretch.
“They really had the air of supremacy in the midfield in that first half, but I thought we challenged a little more in the second half and that allowed us to take advantage of our speed up front,” Hahne said. “Defensively, we played fantastic the entire game.”
Howard was limited to four shots on goal for the afternoon, with goalies Garrett Dearden (two saves) and Joe Bryant (two) stopping each of them. The Lions simply never had any space to operate when they got anywhere near the box.
“Our sophomore sweeper (Kyle Saunderson) is a terrific organizer of our defense and our outside defenders played very well,” Hahne said. “(Howard) really only had one good shot the entire second half.”