On the brink of losing back-to-back county games, Reservoir got back to its winning ways Thursday by taking down visiting Howard, 4-0.
“We definitely stepped it up, especially from that hard loss (against Wilde Lake),” said Keri Rager, who had two goals and an assist in the Gators’ win. “We were able to finish, which was helpful.”
Rager started things off with nine minutes remaining in the first half. Paola Rosa sent a through-ball to the Gators’ (4-3) leading scorer, who broke away from the Lions’ defenders for the game’s first score.
In the second half, Rager scored again, this time off a Blair Bonner pass. Howard keeper Cassidy Burns came out of the box to challenge, but Rager was still able to deliver the shot, putting her team up by two goals.
“At practice, we knew we definitely had to play more aggressive and come out strong,” Rager said of her team’s performance.
With 26 minutes left in the game, Bonner got in on the scoring action as well, placing a free kick into the upper-right corner of the net.
Then, with 21 minutes left, Rager crossed a free kick to Natalie Raymond for the game’s final goal.
Howard (3-4) coach Nick Zaron said it was difficult to defend a player like Bonner.
“She wins a lot of balls in the air, so if you play it down the middle, you’re playing to (Reservoir’s) strength,” he said. “She anticipates everything well.”
Following the game, Reservoir coach Josh Sullivan stayed reserved, knowing that the county’s girls soccer picture gets more muddled every day.
“We genuinely have had a good season, and the Wilde Lake loss was really disappointing in terms of effort,” he said. “We just have to be more consistent. We’ll take a tough loss, then come back and bring it. We need to see how we play in the next game.”
As for Howard’s performance, Zaron said his team had come off three straight games on turf and playing on Reservoir’s grass could have been a contributing factor.
“It’s different, and it changes the game,” he said. “You try to find your feet, but it’s tough to judge the ball.”
Overall, the Lions’ coach said his squad needs to be mentally prepared to play in each game, forgetting about the opponent.
“It’s not a question of our ability or speed. We have players that can play … it’s just about getting yourself ready for every game,” he said.
Both teams go on the road on Tuesday. Long Reach will welcome the Lions, while the Gators will go to Hammond.
Mt. Hebron tops Hammond 4-0
Jen Giles (2 goals) and Kelly Richards scored for the Vikings (5-2). Mt. Hebron also scored on an own goal.
Nia Crump (2 assists), Yasmine Darrehmane and Sorana Larson were credited with assists.
Hammond falls to 0-7 in county play.
Glenelg downs Oakland Mills 2-0
Kayla Renehan had two scores for the Gladiators. Sydney Peirce and Emily Taylor tallied assists.
The Gladiators move to 2-5 in county play. Oakland Mills falls to 0-7.
Glenelg Country defeats Palotti 4-2
Chloe Lewis scored twice off PK’s, and Deja Hursey and Kiersten Moore each added added another score for the Dragons, who improved to 7-1 in league play.
Lewis also had an assist on the night.