Maisy Clevenger put her team on her back, scoring five goals to lead the Marriotts Ridge Mustangs to an 8-5 victory over the Towson Generals in the Class 3A state quarterfinals on Wednesday.
“I think at the end of the day we’re just excited to still be playing,” Marriotts Ridge coach Amanda Brady said. “We made goals this season and playing back-to-back yesterday and today I think is a true testament to how strong these girls are.”
Clevenger scored two goals in the first half, including the opening goal of the game. She scored her second on a goal that went under the goalie’s legs with 8:01 remaining. Clevenger added three more goals in the second half, her fifth came with 3:17 left and sealed the game for the Marriotts Ridge.
“She’s such a dynamic player. She’s such a fun player to watch, she’s a team player too,” Brady said. “She’s one that has the ability to shoot from anywhere but also is really smart with the ball, so it’s just exciting to watch her play.”
The No. 5 seed Mustangs (10-3) led 5-3 at halftime after a tightly contested first half. Hayley Lettinga scored two goals in the first half and Sofia Bender added one for the Mustangs. Kara Janishefski scored twice in the first half and Brigid Vaikness scored one goal for Towson.
The fourth-seeded Generals (10-3) were shut out for almost 10 minutes to end the half after Janishefski scored her second goal. Lettinga ended the first half with a goal with 20.3 seconds left. In the last seven minutes of the half, Towson had two shots that both sailed wide left.
“I think we played a lot of defense in the first half, so I think defensively we played really well,” Brady said. “We caused a lot of turnovers which was really fun to watch our defense really come together and make some great stops.”
Towson’s scoring drought continued in the second half. Clevenger opened the half with two straight goals before Vaikness scored her second goal of the game with 11:33 left. It ended Towson’s scoring drought and cut Marriotts Ridge’s lead to 7-4.
“Kara (Janishefski) is a senior leader on attack and she’s going to be irreplaceable, it’s just really hard to replace someone like her,” Towson coach Taylor Carhart said. “Brigid (Vaikness), thankfully we get her back next year. She’s an unbelievable all-around player for us and brings energy to the team.”
The Generals added another goal by Avery Briggs with 8:28 remaining, but Clevenger sealed the game with her fifth with 3:17 remaining. Grace Hejeebu started in goal for Marriotts Ridge and made 10 saves while Meg Cottrell made seven saves for Towson.
With the win, the Mustangs extend their winning streak to eight games. They advance to the semifinals at a time to be announced. On the other side, Towson’s season comes to an end. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Generals.
“This team is just super special in my heart knowing that they’re my first team as a head coach,” Carhart said. “They’re just a great group of girls all over the field on and off, an unbelievable group that I’m thankful for.”