— With a load of talented seniors coming off two straight appearances in the state semifinals, the C. Milton Wright girls soccer team has made it known that anything short of a state title will be a disappointment this season.
But the playoffs are a couple months away and, in the meantime, the No. 4 Mustangs (1-0) are equally aware that there's plenty of hard work that needs to come first.
Their first official business of the season came Saturday afternoon against Reservoir and the Mustangs were ready, earning a 3-0 win over the Gators in the Tournament of Champions at Tuscarora.
Senior forward Megan Frailer, who scored the Mustangs' second goal, was impressed with C. Milton Wright's play in the season opener.
"Everyone was working hard, making their runs to get open and working together and finishing chances. I think everyone just knows each other, we work really well together and we have a great chance to get far this year," said Frailer, the team's top returning scorer from last year.
In addition to returning 10 starters, the Mustangs also showed their depth, which has become their trademark as they wear down opponents.
Shortly after substituting four starters midway through the first half, C. Milton Wright broke through with the game's first goal.
Junior forward Megan Pavlitsa scored the goal, cutting in front of a defender on the right side to run on to a short pass from senior midfielder Kathy Kammerer before finding the far post from 10 yards.
Just before the half, the Mustangs increased their advantage to 2-0 at the break. After taking a pass from sophomore Mackenzie Cunningham, Frailer won space inside the penalty area on the left, then swiftly cut to the middle to set up her right foot for a goal to the near post from eight yards.
The Gators (0-1-1) played a strong second half — possessing the ball much of the time, earning two corner kicks and having a goal disallowed — but weren't able to break though. With 10 minutes left, Mustangs junior forward Angela Kuhn closed out the scoring with a heavy shot from 15 yards.
No. 5 River Hill 6, Northern-Calvert 1: If the Hawks' first two games are any indication, expect opposing defenses to go home tired after each outing.
After a 3-1 win against Urbana in Friday night's tournament opener, the Hawks (2-0) continued to attack in waves against overmatched Northern to come away with a comfortable win.
Senior midfielder Katie Arensmeier and junior forward Sheridan Street scored goals in the first half, both assisted by sophomore forward Alex Hamer, and the Hawks controlled play with an effective mix of short passes and dangerous through balls that created steady scoring chances.
Jennifer Voyton, who scored twice Friday, added a goal in the second half, while Callie Allen, Rebecca Higgins and Jessica Hopkins each scored after halftime in the dominating performance.
"We don't have a lot of size, so what we're good at is speed and one touch and two touch. Today, I asked the girls to work on passing the ball to people's feet and the girls did very well," River Hill coach Brian Song said.
Tournament of Champions
4 C. Milton Wright 3, Reservoir 0
Goals: CMW – Pavlitsa, Frailer, Kuhn
Assists: CMW -- Kammerer
Saves: R – Bouie 4; CMW – Venanzi 3.
Half: CMW, 2-0
5 River Hill 6, Northern-Calvert 1
Goals: RH – Arensmeier, Street, Allen, Voyton, Higgins, Hopkins; N -- Ridenour.
Assists: RH – Hamer 2, Emrick, Haugh 2
Saves: N – Buckley 7; RH – Lloyd 1, Caine 1.
Half: RH, 2-0