Cold, blustery and rainy conditions Thursday night couldn’t stop sophomore Jaylyn Chandler and the Atholton Raiders from handing visiting River Hill a 2-1 loss in overtime.
The last time River Hill (7-1-1) lost to a county opponent was in 2011, when Atholton (5-3-1) bumped the Hawks from the quarterfinals of the Class 3A playoffs.
“Overall I’m very pleased with how we played,” said Atholton coach Stephanie Stoutenborough. “We’ve been working for this all season.”
It was Chandler who converted a ricochet shot into the game-winning goal just three minutes into overtime that helped Atholton capture that elusive victory over the Hawks.
“It feels really good,” said Chandler. “It’s always a tough game (against River Hill).”
The Raiders—who played a much more offensive-minded game, according to Stoutenborough—didn’t waste any time getting out to an early lead.
Just nine minutes into the contest, freshman Fran Vanegas sent a lead pass to sophomore Devon Bodziony.
Bodziony then beat two River Hill defenders before sending a bullet through the rain and into the top right corner of the net, just past Hawks keeper Julia Caine’s reach.
The Hawks, not known for playing from behind, responded just 15 minutes later.
After some back-and-forth in the box between Alex Hamer and oncoming Atholton defenders, Jessie Hopkins found the ball, and then the back of the net, to tie the game at 1-1.
Toward the end of the first half, River Hill started to gain control, creating chance after chance that could have put the Hawks in the lead.
Still, the Raiders held their ground.
“Defensively, I’m very proud,” said Stoutenborough. “We marked them tight. We were just hoping not to make any dumb mistakes back there.”
During the second half, the Raiders coach said she thought her squad dominated the Hawks, and although they weren’t able to convert on any opportunities, they were still able to keep River Hill out of the net.
“They wanted it more than we did,” said Hawks coach Brian Song after the game. “We had no heart.”
Song said he gave “all the credit” to the Raiders for the win, adding that it didn’t matter how many chances his team had.
“If you don’t execute,” he said as he shrugged, “that’s the bottom line.”
Heavy rainfall forced most games throughout the county to be postponed until Friday, but since Atholton has a turf field, the teams were able to play as scheduled.
“I don’t think it was a very sloppy game, so I don’t think the conditions really made a difference either way,” Stoutenborough said. “We knew it was going to be a physical, fast-paced game. But I think we adjusted well.”
The Raiders’ coach added that she hopes her team can continue their hot play leading up to the county playoffs.
“Hopefully we won’t have too big of heads,” she said. “We knew this county was going to be competitive every game.
“It’s nice to beat River Hill, but it’s also nice to get a win against anyone in the county.”
The Raiders will get a chance to capitalize on their momentum against Long Reach on Tuesday. The Hawks will look to rebound against Mt. Hebron.
Reservoir defeats Long Reach 2-1 in 2OT
Kayla Pindell scored in the first three minutes for the Gators (6-3). Keri Rager had the assist.
After a handball in the box, Rachel Kim got the Lightning (2-7) on the board after converting on the penalty kick.
"I am so proud of my players for fighting and staying with defensive marks for 95 minutes after giving up an early goal," said Long Reach coach Erik Sanderson. "A tie would have been a great result for us and it slipped away at literally the last second."