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After getting the ball behind Marriotts Ridge goalkeeper Sophia Hamilton, River Hill's Kat Varga (23) and Natalie Bird (partially hidden) scamper to try to get the ball over the goal line. Varga successfully drove the ball into the goal cage and past defender Megan Tuma. Varga's goal gave River Hill a 1-0 victory. (Photo courtesy of Susie Bird, Patuxent Publishing / October 12, 2011)

The Marriotts Ridge-River Hill game looked to be headed into overtime, but a Kat and a Bird wouldn't let it happen.

"I passed the ball to Natalie Bird and she passed it back to me," said River Hill's Kat Varga. "I dodged a girl and I went for the goalie's (wide open) legs. The ball was rolling really slow" toward the goal line.

A Marriotts Ridge defender flicked the ball away from the goal line, but ball came Varga's way and she smacked it into the cage.

Varga's score came with 59 seconds left in the game.


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Marriotts Ridge called a time out to refocus, but in spite of the Mustangs' best effort to get into its attacking end and get a penalty corner called, they did not get an opportunity to get an equalizer.

"At the end of the day, River Hill got the job done and we didn't," said Marriotts Ridge coach Stacie Gado. The Mustangs have been in three consecutive 1-0 games.

"This was a very even game," said River Hill coach Shelly Chamness. "They really stretched us. They are so fast. That (wing) Molly Fleming is fast."

"We had to keep peeling back (defensively) to catch up with (Fleming)," Varga said.

River Hill played a power game that kept both teams scrambling to track down balls on the Hawks' fast field.

"They wanted to play to their right and we wanted to play to our right," Chamness said.

River Hill's Pauline Shih helped swing the play from side to side on the field.

"Pauline was awesome," Chamness said.

Defenders Katie Woolls, Delaney Hartson, Colleen Connors and Rachel Bade also stood out for the Hawks, and helped keep Marriotts Ridge from scoring.

"Katie and Colleen always have really powerful drives and they are guaranteed to get the ball out of the circle in a second," said River Hill goalie Emily Glass (seven saves).

Glass said Bade made several stick saves to help secure the shutout.

"I could completely see us going into overtime with Marriotts Ridge," Varga said. "It didn't feel like anyone dominated anyone. It was such a great game, it could have gone either way."

The Hawks dedicated their game to forward Kelsey Dillman, who received a cut on her cheek with less than 9 minutes to play in the first half. Her injury required two stitches.

"We were all kind of rattled with Kelsey out," Shih said.

"Marriotts Ridge is definitely a quality team. This is one game where you're glad that you came away with a win," Chamness said.