Fresh off a resounding 16-6 victory over Franklin to capture the 3A North region championship, C. Milton Wright kept the momentum going Friday night in the 3A state semifinals.
Led by senior midfielder Taylor Marchetti’s five goals, the Mustangs shook off a slow first few minutes to emphatically defeat Huntingtown 18-8 and advance into a state final showdown Monday evening against defending state-champion Westminster.
C. Milton Wright (13-3), which dominated control of the ball for the majority of the contest against the Hurricanes, are aiming for the program’s first state title since 2004.
“We started off a little shaky, but I think the biggest key was from the draw controls,” Marchetti said. “When we win the draw controls, we have possessions. So, we can take our time working the ball around and find the good opportunities.”
Marchetti was one of seven different scorers for the Mustangs, including Aubrey Hoover, Reese Baldwin, Hayley Cummins, Kaitlyn Bajkowski, Lydia Cassily and Madison Remeto.
Huntingtown took a 3-0 lead in the opening six minutes behind goals from Suzy Smith, Willow Cooper and Lexi Zeruto. Those three goals would be answered with goals from C. Milton Wright’s Hoover and Marchetti to tie the game.
Smith scored another goal for Huntingtown, giving it a 4-3 lead. But that turned out to be the Hurricanes’ final advantage, as C. Milton Wright rattled off three unanswered goals — from Baldwin, Cummins and Marchetti.
Smith answered with two goals of her own to tie the game at 6-6 going into halftime. Huntingtown, however, would score just twice more during the game — both goals coming from Smith.
C. Milton Wright, on the other hand, pulled away with 12 goals in the second half.
“I think that just getting to the girls and saying ‘You got this, you have the stick skills, we’ve practiced this, we know you’re prepared’ and they trusted themselves to come out and hold that pressure,” C. Milton Wright head coach Faye Brust said.
In defeat, Huntingtown (14-3-1) saw six of its eight goals scored by Smith. When the dust settled, Smith had scored her 200th career goal, which is a school record.
“Honestly, I wasn’t even worried about the 200 — I just wanted this for my team,” Smith said afterward. “We’ve literally been working for four years. Even just getting a SMAC championship with Leonardtown, it was the greatest thing — having that win and being able to come back here.
“I wish we could’ve had more ... obviously goals, but our team played amazing tonight and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Smith will take her talents to Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina. She looks forward to getting things started with her new team in the near future.
“I’m so ready for it,” Smith said. “I love my team already and I’ve met them only a couple of times. I love my coach ... I talk to her almost every day. The whole atmosphere there is awesome and I’m so excited for the next level.”