No matter what the odds, teams of destiny step up.
“We are going to win,” said Atholton coach Martie Dyer the day before her team played Marriotts Ridge.
It didn’t make any difference that, with scant notice, the Raiders would be missing a high scoring forward who was making a weekend college visit.
Atholton had one day of practice to make adjustments in its line up and corners. So what? No big deal.
“Despite losing two games by one goal, I think I have the best team in the county. I just do,” Dyer said after her team defeated Marriotts Ridge, 3-2, Friday afternoon at Blandair Park.
It was the second county loss for Marriotts Ridge and drops the Mustangs from a tie for first in the county standings into a tie for second.
Rachel Day put Atholton on the scoreboard first.
“I think that set the tone for the whole entire game,” she said. “We needed that to show us that we could stay in the game.”
As part of the adjustments Atholton had to make, Day, a cherry picker, and freshman Faryn Katz, a center forward, switched positions. The pace of the game soon forced them to switch back but Atholton kept the offensive pressure on.
The Raiders started three freshmen — Katz, Ashley Martin and Rachel Foster — and a sophomore — Meaghan Quinn, who began the season at midfield/defense but has been shifted to forward. She assisted two of Atholton’s goals.
The Raiders had a 1-0 halftime lead and extended their advantage to 2-0 when Gina D’Astro scored on a corner play.
“There are two lines and I don’t think the ball went out of the circle. The second she touched it, I screamed that it didn’t come out,” said Marriotts Ridge keeper Sophia Hamilton. Her plea fell on deaf ears.
On corners, the ball must come out of the circle and then back into it before a shot is taken.
The lines on the Blandair field were confusing, said Marriotts Ridge coach Stacie Gado. “We’re not used to playing on the turf where Atholton is here every day for practice,” she added.
With 17 minutes remaining in the game, Jenna Kerr scored for Marriotts Ridge on a corner play. The Mustangs’ last goal, by Lexi Souder, with 26 seconds left was also during a corner.
“We can’t wait. We can’t wait for them to score. We can’t be content with just playing,” said Marriotts Ridge coach Stacie Gado.
“Coming off a score (by the other team) is hard,” said Marriotts Ridge’s Jasmine Williams. “But once we scored, we had our hopes up."
The Mustangs owned the momentum near the end of the game, and nearly took the ball away from Atholton with 20 seconds to go. The Raiders’ Jaimie Cardea, who scored her team’s third goal, squelched any hopes of Marriotts Ridge stealing the ball possibly tying the game by blasting the ball up the field.
“I knew if I hit the ball up as far as I could it would be a struggle for them to get the ball and get it back down” to their offensive end,” Cardea said. “I think the (hit) was a huge factor in why we won. It gave us time to settle and get that corner” at the very end.
Atholton drew a penalty corner just as the clock expired. The Raiders were able to play out the corner, but did not score.
“This game will give us a lot of faith,” Day said. “Knowing that we lost to Glenelg and that we lost to Mt. Hebron but this team (Marriotts Ridge) beat both of them. In both of those games that we lost, we had the lead at halftime and let it go.”
The Raiders didn’t let their lead go against Marriotts Ridge.
Atholton 3, Marriotts Ridge 2
Goals: A – Rachel Day, Gina D’Asto, Jaimie Cardea. MR – Jenna Kerr, Lexi Souder.
Assists: A – Meaghan Quinn 2, Kate Fales. MR – Allie McAuley.
Saves: A – Emily Clinch 10. MR – Sophia Hamilton 27.
Halftime: Atholton, 1-0.
Around the league
Glenelg County School 5, Park 0
The host Dragons improved to 4-2 in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference and 5-3 overall with a shutout over Park. Glenelg got on the board early when freshman attacker Alyssa Arnold scored off an assist from senior attacker Marissa Burks.
The game stood at 1-0 until the last 2 minutes of the half when junior attacker Tessa More broke through Park’s defense and scored an unassisted goal.
More opened the second half scoring off an assist from Arnold. Senior attacker Lauren Smith scored an unassisted goal minutes later and the Dragons rounded out the scoring with 23 seconds left when freshman midfielder Julia Sheehan scored off Arnold’s second assist of the day.
Glenelg Country held a 14-1 advantage shots on goal and an 8-4 advantage of offensive penalty corners. Senior defender Gillie Lynch had a standout game at the midfield to help preserve the shutout.
“The girls were motivated to do this for Koko (Etokebe),” said Glenelg Country School coach Jessica McAdams. “It was one of those coaching moments you rarely see but it makes it so worth while. I was so proud.”
Etokebe was hit in the mouth during Wednesday’s game against St. James and is out for the rest of the season.
Goals: GCS – Tessa More 2, Julia Sheehan, Alyssa Arnold, Lauren Smith. P – none.
Assists: GCS – Alyssa Arnold 2, Marissa Burks.
Saves: GCS – Kelly Johnson 1. P – not available.
Halftime: Glenelg Country, 2-0.
Glenelg 5, Centennial 0
Stephanie Asher found the sweet spot in Centennial’s defense, scoring all five of Glenelg’s goals. Centennial keeper Anna Cosentino made 11 saves in the game.
The loss was Centennial’s second shutout of the week.
Goals: G – Stephanie Asher 5. C – none.
Assists: G – Megan Taylor, Leslie Geist, Lauren Pelkey, Mia Astran.
Saves: G – Amanda Hoyt 1, Noelle Frost 1. C – Anna Costentino 11.
Halftime: Glenelg, 3-0.
Howard 4, Long Reach 0
Four different players scored as Howard won its fourth game in a row, 4-0, over Long Reach. The Lightning offense was shutout for the fifth time this season.
Although held without goals, it does not mean that Long Reach players did not give a good effort. Coach Rashmi Bhanot cited the play of Aliana Milauskas, Lillie Miller, Nicole Cote, Jenn Isacoff and Patricia Anderson as being outstanding.
Goals: Ho – Emily Penn, Taylor Motley, Annette Jarosz, Cailey Tolson. LR – none.
Assists: Ho – Megan Green, Cailey Tolson, Emily Penn, Taylor Motley.
Saves: Ho – Allison Jakubek 3. LR – Nicole Cote 20.
Halftime: Howard, 3-0.
River Hill 12, Hammond 0
Junior Mikayla Athey scored four goals as River Hill shutout Hammond, 12-0.
Hammond goalkeeper Greer Guzzone stopped 17 other shots.
Goals: RH – Mikayla Athey 4, Emily Marlatt 3, Emily Hamburger 2, Caleigh Covell, Kinsey Johnson. Ha – none.
Assists: RH – Emily Marlatt 2, Dani Schwab 2, Delaney Malone, Maggie Connors, Emily Hamburger, Maddie Rusenko.
Saves: RH – Sierra Kelly 1. Ha – Greer Guzzone 17.
Mt. Hebron 13, Wilde Lake 1
Goals: MH - Sara Rochester 3, Tianna Wallpher 2, Molly Bishop 2, Lauren Schaaf, Katie Anderson, Hannah Scheid, Ally Unkenholz, Shannon Kelliher. WL – Kikelomo Lawoyin.
Assists: MH - Natalie Fyock 2, Lauren Schaaf, Katie Anderson, Hannah Scheid.
Saves: MH – Sarah Seen 0. WL – Marissa Sciabarra 15.
Halftime: Mt. Hebron, 9-0.
Standings (as of Oct. 4)
Mt. Hebron, 7-1, 10-1
Glenelg, 7-1, 9-2
Marriotts Ridge, 6-2, 9-2
Atholton, 6-2, 7-2
River Hill, 6-2, 7-3
Centennial, 5-3, 6-5
Howard, 4-4, 4-4
Long Reach, 3-5, 5-6
Reservoir, 3-5, 4-7
Hammond, 1-7, 1-8
Oakland Mills, 0-8, 2-9
Wilde Lake, 0-8, 0-9
Glenelg Country, 4-2 IAAM B, 5-3