Eager to get back on the winning track, the Reservoir girls soccer squad rebounded from a loss earlier in the week, defeating visiting Mt. Hebron 1-0 under the lights Friday night.
With 26 minutes remaining in the second half, Keri Rager sent a long ball into the box.
After a quick scramble, Rager found the ball again, and connected with Delaney Reiff for the game’s only score.
“We were just working hard trying to get (the ball) forward,” Reiff said of the goal.
The first half was a stalemate on both sides of the field. The Gators (3-2) and Vikings (3-2) traded multiple chances in each box for the first 40 minutes, but neither team gave an inch.
“I thought the first half was definitely evenly-matched, we just had to adjust to their physical play, and their direct play,” Reiff said.
Vikings coach Tim Deppen said his team had all the momentum heading into halftime, but physical play may have been the main reason they were “deflated” following intermission.
“I think it was extremely evident that we were just flat,” he said. “You could see how many fouls were called. It was an extremely physical game. It always is with Reservoir. It’s not necessarily an announced rival, but I think the girls definitely know how hard they play. So it brings out the physical play every time we meet.”
Deppen said games against the Gators are never dirty, but just rather difficult. “It takes a lot out of them,” he added.
On Tuesday, the Gators fell to Marriotts Ridge — their second county loss on the year. With the threat of dropping back-to-back games looming, coach Josh Sullivan said he had worked to change things up in the lineup.
“It’s been a good problem to have as a coach,” he said. “I’ve got a pretty deep team.”
All season long, Sullivan said he has been trying to find the right combination of players to put on the field.
Entering the second half, he said he thought he found the right group.
“I think tonight—in the second half in particular—we found something that I’m pretty sure should work for us,” he said.
After key changes in the lineup were made, Sullivan said he noticed the Gators getting back to their own style of play, by opening the field and spreading things out.
“We were playing on the football field instead of the soccer field in the first half,” he said.
Though his team lost, Deppen praised the play of his top defender Nia Crump, calling her “the strongest mentally, and strongest physically” on his squad.
Both teams are back at it on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Reservoir will be tested again, traveling to Wilde Lake. Mt. Hebron will welcome Glenelg at home.
Centennial rebounds, defeats Oakland Mills 3-0
Ruthie Lucas scored twice, Jasmine McCree added another score, and the Eagles were able to respond after losing their first county game earlier in the week.