Reservoir needed more than 81 minutes Tuesday to get its first quality scoring chance against River Hill. But, when the Gators got that opportunity, they didn’t let it go to waste.
Streaking down the right side just over a minute into the first overtime period of a scoreless game, Reservoir junior David Harris corralled a failed clear attempt and converted into the left side of the net for the golden goal in a 1-0 victory.
“When you’re not getting chances, you have to take advantage of the ones you get,” said Harris, who ripped off his shirt and ran to celebrate with his team following the goal. “The ball was on my foot, I had space and there was definitely a feeling that I had to make that shot.”
For the majority of regulation, River Hill (0-1 county, 2-1 overall) had controlled the run of play. The Hawks generated more than twice as many shots and corners as Reservoir (1-0, 3-0) — forcing Gators’ goalie Kyle Kroll to make six saves to keep the game tied.
Among the best of River Hill’s opportunities came with 10 minutes left in the second half, when captain Jake Turney had a hard shot in the box deflected wide by Kroll. Over the course of the game, the near misses became a frustrating theme.
“What hurts is that when the ball wasn’t between the 18s, we had the majority of play … they really weren’t dangerous during regulation,” River Hill coach Matt Shagogue said. “But you have to finish. Not a whole lot more I can say.”
Reservoir coach Reg Hahne praised the resiliency of his backline, led by junior Kyle Saunderson, for withstanding the River Hill attack and making the game-winning overtime goal possible.
“We were fortunate that we have a good defense that was able to keep (River Hill) out, because they definitely had their chances. I really thought they were going to monopolize on those,” Hahne said. “But they didn’t and we made the most of it. We found a way to get one more in the net than they did.”
The win for Reservoir helped build on what was already a strong start to the season over the weekend, where the team picked up tournament victories over Richard Montgomery (2-1) and Good Counsel (1-0). Harris says that this year’s team, despite winning a state championship last season, isn’t taking anything for granted.
“With a new year comes a new team so I think we all know we have to prove ourselves again. Preseason rankings don’t mean anything, we want to show what we can do on the field,” Harris said. “Today’s win was obviously a big one.”
Meanwhile, River Hill finds itself needing to regroup quickly. The Hawks have an out-of-county game against C.M. Wright on Thursday and then square off against undefeated Oakland Mills next Tuesday. Shagogue says he’s done with wake-up calls and moral victories.
“We don’t need any more lessons. That (lesson) was losing last year in November,” Shagogue said. “We don’t need to lose to build character. We’re past that.”
Reservoir 1, River Hill 0 OT
Goal: Re – Harris.
Saves: Re – Kroll 6; RH – Potts 1.
Half: 0-0; Regulation: 0-0.
Marriotts Ridge 4, Glenelg 1
Goals: MR – Kammerer 2, Shasti, Najib; G – Rodriguez.
Assists: MR – Chen, Shasti, Najib, Kammerer.