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Winters Mill girls soccer opens season with shutout at South Carroll

Expectations were the biggest unknown for the Winters Mill girls soccer team heading into its season opener Tuesday against South Carroll.

WM coach Denny Snyder said his Falcons had only practiced on grass a few times. Parking lots were their usual gathering spot for most of the last few weeks in preparation for a fall season beginning in March. Snyder got a chance to see Winters Mill go through two different halves – an offensive surge in the first 40 minutes, and a defensive stand the rest of the way.

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Winters Mill shut out South Carroll, 3-0, at Parker Field, giving the Falcons something to build on as they embark on the new season.

“Every game, our goal is a shutout,” Snyder said. “But to get it tonight was nice.”

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Snyder pointed to senior defenders Lauren Cook and Madison Harmening as the anchors alongside starting sophomores Mackenzie Bennett and Emma Hook. Behind them is senior goalie Reilly Lockwood, who sparkled Tuesday by collecting 12 saves.

“Our whole defensive unit, we’re young … it bodes well not only for this year but for the future,” Snyder said.

Kiyomi Mastro, a sophomore midfielder, had a goal and an assist for Winters Mill. Harmening, a first-team all-county selection in 2019, gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead late in the first half with an arching strike from about 30 yards out that found the net.

The early goals did a lot to settle any nerves on Winters Mill’s side, Lockwood said.

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“It’s a confidence booster because the team is motivated,” Lockwood said. “I feel like the very special thing about our team, and especially our defense, is that we easily motivate each other. And I think that’s what a team needs.”

South Carroll turned up its intensity on offense throughout the second half. The Cavaliers had five corner kick opportunities and a handful of other quality scoring chances. Freshman Maddie Witter might have had her team’s best chance about 7 minutes into the second half when she took a pass from the midfield, streaked down her team’s sideline in open space, and headed toward the box.

Lockwood was there to deny her, however, and smothered the shot from the near side.

The Cavaliers graduated three first-team all-county players from their 2019 squad, and coach Andrew Isacco fields only three seniors. Junior Payton Wenczkowski stood out in the midfield Tuesday and had her share of controlling 50-50 balls.

But Winters Mill’s defense preserved the shutout ahead of Thursday’s game at Francis Scott Key. South Carroll has a road game Thursday against Westminster.

Goals: WM-Alex Powell, Madison Harmening, Kiyomi Mastro

Assists: WM-Haley Mettrick, Amanda Scholze, Mastro

Saves: WM-10 (Reilly Lockwood); SC-1 (Kaitlyn Wenner)

Halftime: WM, 2-0

JV result: Tied, 1-1

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