The first goal scored by the C. Milton Wright girls soccer team against upstart Patterson Mill on Monday provided a fitting sample of the high standard the No. 3 Mustangs have set in Harford County in recent years.
Megan Frailer outworked an opponent to win a ball on the left side, won the end line before sending a cross to the middle. Sarah Piazza settled the ball in close and with her back to the goal, alertly dropped a pass to midfielder Angela Kuhn. In stride, Kuhn one-timed a shot from 10 yards that found the lower left corner just past the midway point of the first half.
The goal set the tone for the Mustangs, who stayed organized most of the way and tacked on a second-half goal from Frailer to earn a 2-0 win over the No. 9 Huskies.
C. Milton Wright, who have won the past three Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference titles, improved to 6-0 overall and 1-0 in league play, handing visiting Patterson Mill (5-1, 0-1) its first loss of the season.
"We knew we had to come out and work hard and wanted to score early to get the team pumped up, so I really wanted to score. We work on that all the time in practice, so it was really rewarding to see it work," Kuhn said.
The Huskies had plenty of moments with the ball, but weren't able to break through. After falling behind, the visitors had their best chance to tie in the closing minutes of the first half when Marissa James had the ball deep in the Mustangs end on the left side. But her shot was turned away by goalie Stacy Venanzi and defender Abby Smucker was quick to clear the rebound.
In the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Huskies controlled the midfield and worked their way in the offensive end, but the Mustangs wouldn't bend.
In the 60th minute, Frailer got behind the Huskies defense and put away a chance from 12 yards to push the lead to 2-0.
The Mustangs, who have 10 starters back from last year's state semifinal team, have grown accustom to seeing the best from each opponent.
"Everybody kind of wants to get you. But I think it's a standard that we have set and, every year, we want to accomplish winning our conference, so the girls stay hungry for it," C. Milton Wright coach Paul Austin said.
Despite the setback, Patterson Mill coach Mike Parker was pleased with the way his team competed. Last year, the Mustangs came away with a 4-0 win.
"I thought we showed we could move the ball against a very good team and we did it a lot. In the end it comes down to who gets the ball in the net and they were able to do that," he said.
3 C. Milton Wright 2, 9 Patterson Mill 0
Goals: CMW – Kuhn, Frailer.
Assists: CMW – S. Piazza.
Saves: PM – Ehly 5; CMW – Venanzi 3.
Half: CMW, 1-0