Noah Gantt and the rest of the Reservoir boys soccer team knew this stretch of games would be difficult.
After opening its season with wins over Long Reach and Atholton, the Gators’ next three contests — at Howard, at Mt. Hebron and home versus Centennial — posed a challenge that would determine what type of team Reservoir would be this fall.
Reservoir opened that stretch of games Tuesday at Howard, and Nick Valenti’s squad didn’t look past the Lions, earning a 2-1 victory to improve to 3-0.
“The mindset was to get the first one,” Valenti said. “We’re aware that Hebron and Centennial are the benchmarks. Any team would be lying if they didn’t have those ones circled and know they’d be difficult.”
Junior striker Noah Gantt led Reservoir with two second-half goals, and the Gators’ defense held on in the final 20 minutes to earn the win.
“We knew these next three games would be a tough stretch,” Gantt said. “It’s nice to get a win on the first one. We want to bring the mentality we brought today to every game. We just need to play our game.”
After a scoreless first half, Gantt drew first blood with a goal in the 45th minute off a corner kick. Reservoir’s Peter Lee headed the corner toward the goal and, after a Howard defender saved Lee’s attempt, Gantt cleaned up the rebound and found the back of the net.
Five minutes later, the Lions’ defense broke down, allowing Mang Tuang to get a one on one with Howard keeper Luke Ryerson. Ryerson forced Tuang away from the goal, and the junior found an open Gantt for the score.
“He knows where to be and he makes the right runs in behind,” Valenti said about Gantt, who also tallied three assists in Reservoir’s season-opening win over Long Reach on Sept. 9. “I think as the season goes people will see he’s a pretty complete striker. He’s a fox in the box, he makes runs in behind, he can do everything.”
Reservoir (3-0) then gave Howard (1-2) a gift in the form of an own goal 10 minutes later. After the Lions staved off a Gators’ corner kick, they pushed the ball upfield toward Reservoir senior goalie Danny Ventura, who tried to clear the ball but unluckily smashed it right into his own defender, Dylan Bradford. Both players watched the ball trickle into the goal.
However, the Gators didn’t let the own goal impact them in the final 20 minutes.
“When you let in a goal like that, you worry about heads going down and panicking,” Valenti said. “This is the first opportunity we’ve had to respond to that, and they came through with flying colors.”
Through three games, Reservoir’s defense, led by Ventura in goal and seniors Bradford, Lucas Turner and Chris Dunning in the back, has allowed only two goals.
“They’re keeping us in games,” Gantt said. “For us, it makes our lives easier knowing that we only need a few goals to win.”
“We’re built from the back,” Valenti said. “All of those guys have three years of varsity experience minimum.”
Howard coach Nils Schroder said his team was “disconnected” throughout the game.
“In the first half, we worked hard but not smart. In the second half, we stopped working hard, and that’s what killed us,” Schroder said. “There was no communication at all, and we’ve got to fix that moving forward.”
Both teams are back in action Thursday. Reservoir plays at Mt. Hebron (1-1 county, 2-1 overall), while Howard travels to Hammond (0-3, 1-4).
Reservoir 2, Howard 1
Goals: Re — Noah Gantt 2; Ho — Own goal.
Assists: Re — Peter Lee, Mang Tuang.
Saves: Re — Danny Ventura 1; Ho — Luke Ryerson 8.
Records: Re 3-0; Ho 1-2.
OTHER BOYS SOCCER SCORES:
River Hill 2, Glenelg 0
The Hawks remained undefeated in county play with the home triumph. Noah Hanson scored and assisted the Hawks’ other goal. Zach Glass pitched a shutout in goal.
Goals: RH — Noah Hanson, Jack Nelson.
Assists: RH — Hanson.
Saves: RH — N/A; G — Katen Gulati 7.
Halftime: 2-0, RH.
Records: RH 3-0, 4-1; G 2-1.
Mt. Hebron 5, Long Reach 0
Mark Adja registered a hat trick to lead the visiting Vikings to victory. The blowout win is a bounce back from the Vikings’ 1-0 loss to Centennial on Sept. 14.
Goals: MH — Mark Adja 3, Lewis Hollander, Jimmy Linsenmeyer (PK).
Assists: MH — Ahmad Alamad 2, Linsenmeyer, E. Bekele.
Records: MH 1-1, 2-1; LR 0-3, 1-3.
Centennial 4, Hammond 0
Eddie Aguilar scored all four of the Eagles’ goals in the road victory. The four goals is a career high for Aguilar and the highest single-game total for any Howard County player this fall.
Goals: C — Eddie Aguilar 4.
Assists: C — Adam Fowble, Omar Hassan, Riley Senisi.
Saves: C — Kartik Sullivan 2; Ha — Caleb Haber 3.
Halftime: 2-0, C.
Records: C 3-0, 5-1; Ha 0-3, 1-4.
Wilde Lake 1, Atholton 0
The host Wildecats won in exciting fashion for their first county triumph. In the final minute of the game, Evan Figueroa drew a free kick and sent it towards the goal to Douglas Martinez, who scored from 20 yards out to win the game as time expired.
Goals: WL — Douglas Martinez.
Saves: WL — Melvin Ahoueya 12.
Records: WL 1-2, 3-2; A 0-3.
Marriotts Ridge 4, Oakland Mills 0
Glenelg 1, River Hill 0
In their last regular season meeting this past spring, the host Gladiators outshot the Hawks 22-8 but lost the game. Glenelg later gained revenge in the league quarterfinals, beating their rival 1-0, and the Gladiators made it two in a row today. Stephanie Lathrop, Glenelg’s leading scorer (five goals in three games), took a nice pass in the midfield from Claire Stern on the left wing, and blasted a rocket from 21 yards out into the upper-left 90 of the net. The second straight win over the Hawks is something that hasn’t happened for Glenelg in over 10 years.
Goals: G — Stephanie Lathrop.
Assists: G — Claire Stern.
Saves: G — Bella Buscher 4; RH — Caroline Duffy 6.
Records: G 3-0; RH 2-1, 2-3.
Atholton 2, Wilde Lake 1 (OT)
Goals: A — Sumara Bedward, Katherine Illei; WL — Grace Dunbar.
Saves: A — N/A; WL — Hannah Lowry 4.
Records: A 2-1; WL 1-2, 2-2.
Mt. Hebron 3, Long Reach 0
Six different Vikings took part in the team’s scoring in the convincing win over the visiting Lightning.
Goals: MH — Sinclaire Green, Leen Jawhar, Iva Damyanova.
Assists: MH — Emma Schwartz, Ana Hoover, Solana Wynn.
Saves: MH — Claire Fitzsimmons 0, Eliana Klein 0; LR — Shyann Hansen 8.
Records: MH 2-0, 2-1; LR 0-3.
Howard 2, Reservoir 1
Goals: Ho — Dani Farias, Natalie Rodriguez; Re — Maya Gunning.
Assists: Ho — Ciaira Pomeroy-Anderson.
Saves: Ho — Ansley Glasgow 5; Re — N/A.
Records: Ho 2-1, 3-1; Re 1-2, 2-3.
Centennial 6, Hammond 2
The Eagles came back from down 2-1 at halftime to earn the convincing home victory. Centennial outscored Hammond 5-1 in the second half. Joanna Ritter registered her first career hat trick in the win, while Lauren Pellegrini scored twice. Emergency goalkeeper Emily Hagan stepped in for an injured Olivia Jackson and totaled 11 saves.
Goals: C — Joanna Ritter 3, Lauren Pellegrini 2, Michelle Fradlin; Ha — Jenna Wilson, Morgan Lane (PK).
Assists: C — Pellegrini 2, Emily Hagan, Fradlin, Grace Nuetzel, Natalie Thomas.
Saves: C — Hagan 11, Olivia Jackson 4; Ha — Caroline Schreier 7.
Halftime: 2-1, Ha.
Records: C 1-2; Ha 0-3, 1-3.
Marriotts Ridge 4, Oakland Mills 0
Giavana Liberto scored within the first two minutes of the game to kickoff the Mustangs’ convincing win over the Scorpions. Megan Wagner served a high-driven ball off a corner kick to Liberto, who headed the ball into the back of the net. Midway through the first half, Marriotts Ridge defender Anna Page won the ball off the feet of an Oakland Mills attacker, served a high pass over the Scorpions’ defense to forward Anna Henderickson, who dribbled towards goal and fired an accurate shot to give the Mustangs a 2-0 lead. The second half was more of the same, as Marriotts Ridge defender Jaya Shelat crossed the ball to Wagner, who fired a high and accurate shot into the net. The fourth and final goal was scored after Liberto passed the ball behind Oakland Mills’ defense to Joelle Becker, who placed a low shot into the corner of the net.
Goals: MR — Giavana Liberto, Anna Henderickson, Megan Wagner, Joelle Becker.
Assists: MR — Wagner, Anna Page, Jaya Shelat, Liberto.
Saves: MR — Caroline Albert 5.
Halftime: 2-0, MR.
Records: MR 3-0, 6-0; OM 0-2, 1-2.
Oakland Mills def. Wilde Lake — 3-0 [27-25, 25-18, 25-20]
After losing in five sets on Friday, the Scorpions earned their first win of the season with a road victory over the Wildecats. Zhenzhu Nelson led the team with 23 kills, 13 digs and six aces, while Kathryn Rogan tallied 35 assists.
Oakland Mills stats: Jasmine Armoo (3 blocks, 3 kills), Paige McPhillips (3 blocks, 6 kills), Micaela Murray (10 digs, 5 kills), Shanai Smith (8 digs, 2 kills, 1 ace), Zhenzhu Nelson (13 digs, 23 kills, 6 aces), Kathryn Rogan (35 assists, 3 digs, 5 aces).
Wilde Lake stats: Veronica Goode (14 digs, 1 ace, 15 assists), Mia Swaby-Rowe (3 kills, 2 blocks), Jasmine Nelson (8 digs, 6 kills, 2 aces), Lydia Cybyk (7 digs, 3 kills).
Records: OM 1-4; WL 0-5.
Howard def. Marriotts Ridge — 3-0 [25-21, 25-20, 25-21]
The Lions improved to 4-0 with a competitive straight-set sweep of the host Mustangs. Marriotts Ridge entered the game undefeated. In addition to Howard, River Hill is the only other undefeated team remaining in Howard County.
Howard stats: Corinne Chau (8 kills, 2 blocks), Kelenna Onukwugha (17 kills, 2 aces), Tyller Williams (8 kills, 5 blocks), Ayanna Pharoah (4 kills, 4 blocks, 38 assists), Briana May (13 digs).
Marriotts Ridge stats: Hailey Byrne (5 blocks), Vivian O’Brien (1 ace, 6 kills, 3 digs), Eva Hull (1 ace, 21 assists), Rhisen Davis (10 kills, 1 dig, 6 digs), Manasvi Mamilla (1 ace and 9 digs).
Records: Ho 4-0; MR 3-1.
Glenelg def. Long Reach — 3-0 [25-15, 25-23, 25-14]
Glenelg stats: Lindsay Kelley (2 kills, 27 assists, 4 aces, 3 digs), Mackenzie Calhoun (15 kills, 2 aces, 10 digs), Sarah Parker (8 kills, 1 assist, 6 aces, 17 digs), Lauren Lapointe (7 kills, 1 assist, 1 block), Sydney Yoon (2 assists, 1 ace, 13 digs), Stella Wolf (2 kills).
Long Reach stats: Allison Brown (3 kills, 3 blocks), Isabella Mora (6 kills, 11 digs), Hayley Norton (2 kills, 13 assists, 9 digs), Mia Rubio (11 digs), Ally Ryans (2 kills, 3 blocks), Kailey Young (2 aces, 3 kills, 1 block, 6 digs).
Records: G 3-1; LR 1-4, 2-4.
River Hill def. Hammond — 3-0 [25-15, 25-23, 25-20]
The Hawks swept the host Golden Bears to remain undefeated. Howard is the only other undefeated team in the county.
River Hill stats: Abby Chicorelli (2 kills, 2 blocks), Christina Lui (11 kills, 2 blocks), Grace Leska 11 kills, 1 block), Shreeni Chikyala 4 kills, 3 blocks, 2 assists, 5 aces), Molly Xu (15 assists, 6 aces, 3 digs), Erin Li (2 aces, 13 digs, 5 assists).
Records: RH 5-0; Ha 0-5.
Mt. Hebron def. Atholton — 3-1 [25-23, 15-25, 25-17, 25-11]
Mt. Hebron stats: Emerson Rose (16 assists, 10 digs, 4 aces, 2 kills), Juliana Guzman (10 digs, 3 assists), Ava Bradley (11 kills, 4 digs, 4 aces, 1 block), Jillian Shoultz (7 kills, 2 blocks), Anastasia Zambidis (7 assists, 1 dig, 1 kill), Ally Hagyard (6 kills).
Records: MH 3-2; A 1-4.
Reservoir def. Centennial — 3-0 [25-12, 25-22, 25-23]
Samiha Foster led the Gators with 16 kills, 11 digs and 2 aces. Reservoir trailed the Eagles 21-17 in the third set and rallied back with a six-point service run by Haley Ko. The Gators finished the set with two kills by Foster.
Reservoir stats: Jessica Rothermel (13 assists, 6 digs, 3 aces), Samiha Foster (16 kills, 11 digs, 2 aces), Gabby Allen (18 digs), Haley Ko (20 assists, 8 digs, 6 aces).
Records: Re 3-2; C 4-1.
Marriotts Ridge 90, Centennial 65 (Waverly Woods)
The Mustangs (5-0) kept their undefeated season alive, but it was Centennial (4-1) junior Dustin Stocksdale that stole the show with a career-best round of 30 points (3-under par). It is the lowest round of the season thus far by a county player.
Playing the back nine at Waverly, Stocksdale started his round with an eagle on his first hole. His drive on the par 4 nearly reached the green and then he pitched the ball in for a two. He then proceeded to make birdies on the 12th and 13th holes to get himself to four-under through four holes. He ended up making one bogey coming in, falling just one shot short of the all-time county record of 31 points. The all-time mark is shared by Oakland Mills’ Donnie Shin (2005), Marriotts Ridge’s Nick Mejia (2013) and Marriotts Ridge’s Jackson Courtney (2016).
While Stocksdale took medalist honors on the day, he nearly was matched by the Mustangs’ Daniel Tuma — who had a career-day of his own with 29 points (2-under par). Tuma’s performance set the tone for a Marriotts Ridge team that also had Sangmin Lee and Neev Saraf post rounds of 22 points apiece.
Marriotts Ridge has now won 82 straight county matches dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season. The Mustangs will play the winner of this Wednesday’s match between River Hill and Howard for the boys county team championship next week.
MR (5-0): Tuma 29, Lee 22, Saraf 22, Vernick 17.
C (4-1): Stocksdale 30, Beck-Winter 13, Roque 13, Trojillo 9.
Marriotts Ridge 67, Centennial 43 (Waverly Woods)
Alana Alexander-Giles scored a match-best 26 points (1-over) to help keep the Mustangs undefeated on the season.
MR (5-0): Alexander-Giles 26, Becker 19, Jeong 15, Ugiansky 7.
C (3-2): Fang 15, Hubbard 15, Shah 9, Moon 4.
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