There are sisters on the team, and younger sisters who will join the team next year. The head coach is assisted by her father. These are some of the reasons why River Hill considers itself a family.
It was a united family that defeated Howard, 12-8, Friday night.
The win gave River Hill (9-2) sole possession of third place in the county standings. Howard dropped to 7-4 in county competition.
River Hill’s eight seniors made their Senior Night one to remember as Kelly Maloney (three), Paige Lorton (two), Kendall Thielemann (two), Colleen McKenna (goal) and Abigail Thielemann (goal, five assists) powered the offense.
Junior Jenna Collins chipped in three goals.
“The games where we feel most successful are the games where we might not personally have five goals but every single person on the team contributed to the win,” said Abigail Thielemann.
“One reason why we did so well tonight was because everyone understood that, and the underclassmen were playing for the seniors,” said Kendall Thielemann,
Although the game was tied, 5-5, early in the second half, Howard struggled with its offense.
“This was our first tough game playing without Katie Schluederberg,” said Howard coach Alleesha Davidson.
Schluederberg, a key component to Howard’s offense, tore her anterior cruciate ligament during the Glenelg game.
The Lions were also without injured defender Cassidy Burns.
“I don’t think we played to our potential today,” said Howard’s Charlotte Wilkinson. “We’re a much better team” than we showed.
River Hill’s defense made it difficult for Howard, pressuring the Lions and causing turnovers.
“They were really good at sliding and closing in on the 8 (meter area),” Wilkinson said.
“The game was very physical and we were intimidated their defense,” Davidson said.
Maloney attributed part of River Hill’s success to her team’s physical condition.
“We are crazy in shape. We’ve been running a lot this year,” she said.
Kendall Thielemann had another thought. “We’re strong because our coach believes in us. That speaks to us. That speaks volumes.”
River Hill 12, Howard 8
Goals: RH – Kelly Maloney 3, Jenna Collins 3, Paige Lorton 2, Kendall Thielemann 2, Colleen McKenna, Abigail Thielemann. Ho – Maddie Regal 2, Abbey Groft 2, Kristen Woolschlager 2, Charlotte Wilkinson, Allie McLamb.