Marriotts Ridge drew up the perfect game plan for its state semifinal game against undefeated Hereford. The first item on the list: get the draw.
“The game plan was to get the draw and keep it away from (Hereford midfielder Rachel Karwacki), who is really tall, and obviously, I’m not tall,” said Marriotts Ridge midfielder Taylor Hensh.
Hensh may not be a 6-footer, but she and her teammates are very good at jumping high and snagging the ball out of midair.
The first six draws of the state semifinal, which was played at Annapolis High School, ended up in Mustangs’ sticks. That ball control eventually led to a 19-3 victory and an opportunity to defend the state title the team won in 2013.
Marriotts Ridge will play Oakdale, a 10-8 winner over Stephen Decatur, on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
“Oh, my Lord, we tried everything” to get the ball, said Hereford coach Anne Ensor. “It was like a magnet and every (Marriotts Ridge) kid had a magnet in her stick.”
Marriotts Ridge was so dominant that the score was 10-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game and 12-0 before Hereford’s Sarah Ashwood put her team on the scoreboard.
It was a clinic on how to play, and it was aptly described by the Mustang players as “beautiful,” “fun,” and “amazing.”
Awesome would be appropriate, too.
“The momentum out on the field was what we planned to play all season and it finally happened,” said Caroline Corbliss. She scored 26 seconds after the game started and later added a second goal by dodging between two defenders to roll the crease.
Led by Marissa Davey, who scored six goals, and Hensh, who had four, six Mustangs netted their shots. Ten of the team’s goals were assisted.
“I love how we played as a team,” Davey said. “No one was trying to drive in one-on-one. Everyone was looking for someone else and when we do that great things happen.”
Goalie Rachel Ortell gave the Mustangs a bit of a thrill when she came out of the goal circle to make an interception. When Ortell missed the interception, Hereford was presented with the opportunity of shooting into an empty net.
“We all sort of gasped,” said Marriotts Ridge coach Amanda Brady. “OK, open-net goal.”
But Ortell quickly recovered and blocked Hereford’s shot.
“For her to have the intensity to jump out of the cage and the agility to get back into the cage and make the save was pretty amazing,” Brady said.
“They moved that ball really, really well and they were obviously the more experienced team at playing at a high level, Ensor said.
“We just didn’t do anything wrong today,” Brady said.
Hereford’s last appearance in the state semifinals was in 2003, when the Bulls won the state title.
Marriotts Ridge won titles in 2011 and 2013.
Oakdale, a Frederick County school, will be making its first appearance in the championship game. The Bears are in their third year as a varsity program.
Marriotts Ridge 19, Hereford 3
Goals: MR — Marissa Davey 6, Taylor Hensh 4, Alexis Zadjura 3, Caroline Corbliss 2, Lexi Souder 2, Carly Miller, Olivia Geiger. H — Caitlin Katchmar, Sarah Ashwood, Lacey Brown.
Assists: MR — Taylor Hensh 3, Alexis Zadjura 2, Carly Miller 2, Marissa Davey, Jenna Kerr, Lexi Souder. H — Brooke Kovinsky.
Saves: MR — Rachel Ortell 2, Caroline Moore 4. H — Cassidy Nozemack 5.
Halftime: Marriotts Ridge, 13-1.