West Virginia welcomes visitors by proclaiming itself the “wild and wonderful” state.
In Columbia, the slogan has become “Wilde and Wonderful.”
Wilde Lake fought back from two deficits – including in the game-deciding shootout – to beat Howard, 2-1, and advance to the quarterfinals of the Class 3A East Region.
In other Class 3A postseason play, Hammond won its first game of the season and Mt. Hebron came home from a long road trip with a win while Centennial lost.
In 2A action, Glenelg and Oakland Mills scored lopsided wins in their first playoff games.
The win over Howard “redefines” Wilde Lake soccer, said midfielder Maria Pascale.
“This is amazing,” added sweeper Sarah Hulit. “Last year we had a lot of fun. We loved each other. But we had the reputation of being an easy win. This year we’ve come together and we’ve decided to work together and focus.”
The Wildecats (8-5-1) will travel to Reservoir (7-5-1), which had a first-round bye, for a 7 p.m. game on Oct. 30, weather permitting. Wilde Lake won the regular-season matchup, 1-0.
After Wilde Lake’s Ali Mallo scored midway through the second half to tie the game at 1-1, the teams battled through two overtimes and went to the sixth round of shooters before the game was decided on a shot by Annie Hudec.
Although Howard had lost, 3-1, to the Wildecats in league play, the Lions’ defense was nearly flawless Friday evening under the lights. Sasha Brown, Amy Williams, Maddie Wade and Ally Huffman turned back Wilde Lake’s attack again and again. Goalkeepers Cassidy Burns (first half) and Liz Price (the rest of the way) stopped what the defense could not.
“I’m pretty sure they made some adjustments” from the first game, said Wilde Lake coach Davia Procida about Howard’s defense. “Last time we got a lot of balls over the top and had a lot of chances.”
“We weren’t compensating for their deep line as well as we did in the last game,” added Pascale. “We were trying to play it over (the defense) and we were hitting it straight to them. Some of our most dangerous shots came from far out,” including a line drive off the foot of Carlianne Laguierre with a minute to play in regulation.
Price saved that one, as well as another Laguierre shot in the first overtime.
Price also came off the line to bat out a free kick from Pascale in the second overtime.
Howard got on the scoreboard first when Nia Elbeck redirected a ricochet off a throw-in 11 minutes into the game. That lead stood for 40 minutes.
“Someone flicked it (back to me) and I just kicked it,” said the sophomore.
“She did a little move and got around me,” said Wilde Lake keeper Lauren Hutchinson. “She was pretty dangerous.”
“We wanted to get our revenge. We just wanted to beat them,” said Elbeck. The loss is “really disappointing.”
Susie Halper, assisted by Kelly Richards, scored to give Mt. Hebron its 1-0 win over J.M. Bennett on the Eastern Shore. Mt. Hebron (6-7-1) will be on the road again Oct. 30 to play a 5:30 game against top-seeded and unbeaten River Hill (14-0).
Hammond ousted Northeast (Anne Arundel), 7-2 for its first win in 13 games this fall. The Bears will play at third-seeded Atholton on Oct. 30.