Four Harford County high school girls soccer teams advanced to the next round of the region playoffs Tuesday with each winning by shutout.
In Bel Air, ropelled by a pair of early first half goals, scored 43 seconds apart, the Bobcats blanked visiting C. Milton Wright, 6-0, in an afternoon Class 3A North, Section II semifinal.
The win put the Bobcats (12-4) in Friday’s section final versus visiting Edgewood, an 11-0 winner at Dundalk on Tuesday. Game time is 3 p.m.
The Bobcats came out fast and with an aggressive attack. Lexi Kraemer sent a ball to Katie McGrain and Mustangs keeper Sydney Frank made the stop just two minutes into the game.
A few minutes later it was different story.
Kraemer had the ball played to and out front of her toward the corner of the 18.
Kraemer battled a defender and Frank came from the Mustangs goal to defend.
Seeing this, Kraemer alertly pushed the ball back to the left toward the middle of the field. She then out ran the defender and Frank raced back toward her goal.
Kraemer got the shot off, a roller, and Frank got to the ball, but not before she and the ball, were across the goal line with 35:40 left in the half.
“I knew that getting wide on the outsides and then pushing toward the middle would work very well, since they knew I was one forward and they were marking me up top, I was double marked,” Kraemer said. “I knew, right when Carolyn [Doheny] got the ball and they played it right over top to me and I saw that I had to get around the goalie and I had a defender on my back, so I just touched it with the outside of my left and rolled it right in with the wind blowing, hoping it would have went in and it did cross the line.”
Things got doubly worse for the Mustangs in a hurry.
Just :43 later it was 2-0.
Lauren Asher, a senior midfielder, sent a high shot on goal from 25 yards out. CMW keeper Frank jumped, but the ball was just out of reach and inside the far post.
The Mustangs (8-5-2), who had few, real scoring chances, had one a minute later, but senior Carolyn Mang saw her direct kick sail just wide.
“It was just kind of unlucky, we got off to a bad start and they capitalized on it, so it was hard to come back from that,” Mang said. Mang is headed for the United States Naval Academy upon her graduation next year.
“There were a lot of times, especially in the first half, that we had opportunities and just couldn’t put it away,” Mang said.
Maggi Hall, a Bel Air sophomore, tried to make it, 3-0, twice, over a two-minute span. Breaking free from midfield, Hall saw her shot sail wide right.
Soon after, Hall had her shot hit the cross bar and bounce away to be cleared.
It wasn’t long, though, the score did jump to 3-0. The Mustangs were called for a handball in the box and Carolyn Doheny calmly placed the penalty kick into the goal with 20:02 still to play in the first half.
As if a three-goal deficit wasn’t bad enough for the Mustangs, the Bobcats added a fourth on a direct kick with 3:14 left before halftime.
“ We wanted to come into this game, having some control. We knew, based on the way the last game went, the team that got themselves out to a lead was going to have some sense of control, if they could get there,” Bobcats coach Josh Ruggiero said.
CMW jumped ahead and beat Bel Air, 4-3, on October 10.
“We practiced a lot this week on being the aggressor, on the offensive end of the ball and it paid off. It didn’t matter the types of goals that we got, we just wanted to make sure that we put it in the back of the net today and luckily enough for us, it found its way to the back of the net,” Ruggiero said.
The second half was played a lot more equal on the scoring end, until the final five minutes.
With 4:30 left, Elizabeth Hillman carried a ball into left corner. Once there, Hillman crossed it and Madison Crossley kicked it in.
Crossley added her second goal with 1:06 to play, cleaning up a loose ball that slipped out of the hands of CMW backup keeper Maddie Hill.
Frank finished with seven saves in the Mustangs goal and Jill Kozak earned the shutout in the Bel Air goal with three saves.
“I think we won six or seven in a row against quality teams and that the thing we did better, is get off to a good start,” CMW coach Paul Austin said. “So, early in the season we had trouble so it kind of came back to haunt us today, but you cant play an up-hill battle like that against a team like this. That made it tough.”
Edgewood (9-4-1) had no trouble in the win at Dundalk, building up a 6-0 lead in the first half.
Ryan Parncutt led the winners with three goals and two assists. Abi VanGraafeiland added two goals and an assist.
Rams goalie Emma Grantland had three saves.
Cougars beat Indians
Fallston (8-6-2) beat host North East, 5-0, in 2A East, Section I.
Elyssa Emmett scored less than two minutes into the game and added another later in the first half. Kayla Streett, Mia Seergae and Logan Ward all had one goal each.
Street added two assists, while Sammy DeCarlo, Ward and Hailey Issac had an assist each.
Cougars goalie Emily Rhinehart had nine saves.
“The girls were able to go up 3-0 before halftime. North East came out strong after halftime and had a few opportunities to put one in, but our defense, led by Grace Tarrant and Rachel Richard was able to hold them off,” Cougars coach Carlie Andrews said. “The girls are playing well heading into the next round of the playoffs. We hope we can keep our rhythm going into Friday.”
The Cougars will play at Rising Sun (8-3-1). The Tigers beat visiting North Harford (8-6-2), 3-0, Tuesday.
In 1A East, Section I, Patterson Mill (8-5-1) beat visiting Joppatowne (5-10), 7-0.
The Huskies will host Bo Manor (8-5-2) on Friday.
Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports