For the first time in nearly two years, River Hill’s girls soccer team will not be perfect in county play, ending Friday night’s match with visiting Centennial in a 0-0 double-overtime draw.
“It’s back to the drawing board,” said Hawks coach Brian Song. “We have four games left, so we’re just going to have to pick it up from here.”
River Hill (6-0-1) came out strong in the opening half, especially on defense. Centennialn added constant pressure, taking shot after shot on junior keeper Julia Caine (12 saves).
“I think we had more opportunities (in the first half), but we couldn’t put the ball in the net,” said Song, adding that he thought his girls played about even with the Eagles through the second half.
“That wasn’t good enough,” he said.
In the 20 minutes, Anna Mitchell nearly gave the Eagles (5-1-1) an early 1-0 lead after sending a shot to the right post. Caine’s full-out dive kept the ball in play.
In the second half, River Hill’s offense started to show signs of life. Senior Sheridan Street was getting more chances, and Alex Hamer seemed to get more touches in the middle of the field.
Still, Centennial’s defense stood its ground, and the Eagles were able to create chances of their own.
With under two minutes in the second golden goal period, River Hill’s Jessie Hopkins nearly sealed it for the Hawks. Her open shot from the middle of the field, however, sailed high.
It was the last chance either side would have.
While the home team walked off the field looking dejected with the game’s result, the visiting Eagles post-game huddle was full of smiles.
“I think we played really well,” said Centennial senior keeper Lindsay Davis. “I wasn’t expecting it, but we came out here and we pushed hard.”
Davis had only one save in the win, but was constantly kept on her toes due to the dynamic offense that River Hill touts.
In practice, Davis said she had been working on dives, getting to high balls and upper-corners.
“It definitely paid off,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
While his team was excited with the game’s result, Centennial coach Steve Baxter said he expected more.
“To be honest, I’m not satisfied,” he said after the game. “We could have won this game. We had chances, especially in the first half…we just couldn’t get a finish.”
Baxter said his team will work on winning corners, as well as endurance, adding that his girls were working on tired legs.
As far as having the chance to knock off River Hill, Baxter said close is still not enough.
“They’re a great team, and they know it,” he said. “Right now, though, we’re still behind them.”
Both teams are back in action on Tuesday. River Hill will travel to Hammond, while Centennial will host Glenelg.
Atholton hands surging Wilde Lake 2-0 loss
Katrina Vickers scored one of the two goals for the Raiders (4-3)
Wilde Lake falls to 4-2-1.
Marriotts Ridge takes down Long Reach 2-0
Maria Plano and Taylor Hensh each scored for the Mustangs (5-1-1). Same Price had an assist.
“We were really impressed with Marriotts Ridge’s speed and ball movement,” said Lightning coach Erik Sandersen. “It has been a tough three-game stretch for us…and we have fought tremendously hard. Our girls have a lot to be proud of and feel good about heading into our game against Howard on Tuesday.”
Long Reach falls to 2-5.