By By Todd Karpovich and For The Baltimore Sun Media Group
Oct 16, 2014 at 9:52 PM
Some of Adrienne Vaughn's teammates have urged her to be more confident this season.
That challenge, however, should not be too daunting for the Atholton freshman.
Vaughn has emerged as of the Raiders' top playmakers, taking on defenders and coming up with big goals. In the final regular season game against host Reservoir, Vaughn iced the 2-0 victory with a deft touch off a cross from Devon Bodziony.
Jetta Owens set the tone with a first half goal for the Raiders, who gained some valuable momentum heading into the Class 3A East Section II playoffs.
"We did well," Atholton coach Stephanie Stoutenborough said. "Obviously there were a couple of games we lost we wish we could replay and take back. We moved on. Overall, I think we did well. We've been playing a possession style of soccer that we want to play. We're trying to attack."
Atholton (9-3-2 overall, 8-3 county) pressured Reservoir early and earned a pair of corner kicks in the opening six minutes. The Gators (6-6, 5-6), however, then settled down and Tina Gray put a shot on goal in the 12th minute that was saved by goalie Sage Mayhew.
The Raiders got on the board in the 26th minute when Emma Johnson hit a free kick from about 25 yards that Owens flicked into the corner of the goal. Atholton maintained the lead for the rest of the half, overcoming several effective counter-attacks by Reservoir.
Vaughn nearly increased the lead just three minutes into the second half when she pounced on a loose ball just inside the penalty area and fired the ball just over the goal. Reservoir continued to push forward for the tying goal, but the Atholton defense, anchored by sweeper Ashley Ensor, would not budge.
Vaughn, who has seven goals on the season, didn't miss on her second opportunity when she deftly finished a cross from Bodziony in the 62nd minute. Just a minute later, Reservoir earned a penalty kick, but Mayhew came up with a big save to maintain the margin.
"It was really fun, competitive and kind of intense," Vaughn said about her varsity experience. "I just have to stay mentally tough. Eventually, I know I am going to work my best to get a goal."
Gators goalie Janie Romer kept the damage to a minimum by keeping the back line organized and making several key stops.
"I thought we played right with Atholton," Reservoir coach Phil Ranker said. "Both teams had the same amount of scoring chances. Atholton did a better job of finishing. Any time you can play with a team like Atholton, you can hold your head up and hope you get another crack at them in the playoffs."
The Lions continued their strong close to the regular season, winning their fifth game in the last six contests to secure a tie for second place in the standings. Grace Regal scored twice, while Fern Peters, Katie Schluederberg, Julia Schmidt and Hannah Weaver added a goal each.
Sarah Cocozza, Lyndsey Brown, Regal and Tessa Walsh provided the assists.
Jazmine McConnell went the distance at goalie to help Howard record its second straight shutout.
Hammond's Brigid Mangan had 11 saves in goal on senior night for the Golden Bears.