HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Marriotts Ridge coach Tony Incontrera called out his seniors after its opening-day loss to Howard on March 23. They were expected to lead the Mustangs offensively, but that night they managed just three goals in a 5-3 defeat, their fewest since their playoff loss to Glenelg in 2014.
The seniors heard the message loud and clear. In three games since, Marriotts Ridge has scored 40 goals, most of which have been by their expected leaders. That continued on Thursday night, as the Mustangs dominated last year’s 2A-1A state finalists South Carroll, 16-1, to improve to 3-1 overall.
The Cavaliers, playing in their first game of the season after several cancelations because of weather, fell to 0-1.
Seniors Luke Ingersoll and Peter Geier scored three goals apiece and seniors Logan Frank and Ellis Gloyd had two each for Marriotts Ridge. Freshman Charlie Reynolds also had two tallies. It’s the third straight year the Mustangs have beaten South Carroll.
“After practice now we’re staying after shooting. Yesterday we were getting some reps and during the school day in weights class we’re shooting,” said Ingersoll, who scored his first goals of the season and also had two assists. “We’ve been getting those extra reps shooting anytime we can, trying to score more goals because obviously against Howard we didn’t shoot very well.”
After a few turnovers by both teams to start the contest, Marriotts Ridge turned it on offensively. It had 11 shots in the first quarter and scored on six of them, including two just seven seconds apart late in the period, and then had 11 more in the second. The Mustangs had a 10-1 advantage at the break and they scored six more goals in the second half, including two by Geier nine seconds apart early in the third quarter.
“[The seniors] had a big week,” Incontrera said. “We had three games in four days so I think that was a big thing, being able to get into a flow a little bit. ... The seniors have stepped up and have really taken on a leadership role, and having Charlie Reynolds out there as a freshman playing the way he’s been playing is also nice to have.”
The Cavaliers struggled in most aspects of the game and couldn’t slow down the Mustangs offense and their ability to move the ball. They lost 13 seniors from last year’s team that made a run to the title game, and coach Brad Widner said his team’s youth showed against a more experienced team.
Junior Dylan O’Neill scored their lone goal on an assist from sophomore Noah Homayouni.
“Some of these guys have never played with each other before March 1st and the weather hasn’t cooperated all that much,” Widner said. “Half the team is still learning the system. ... Some of the veteran guys have led the way, but especially on offense we’re looking at some freshmen and sophomores trying to be impact players.”
Defensively, the Mustangs have been getting progressively better with each game. They allowed just four goals to MIAA A Conference’s John Carroll in a 10-4 victory, three against Reservoir in a 14-3 win and just one against the Cavaliers.
Helping their backline has been 2017 first-team All-County selections junior goalie Colin Kelley (three saves) and Ingersoll, who Incontrera said is the best keeper and defensive midfielder, respectively, in the county. This was Ingersoll’s breakout game offensively, as he had just one assist through the first three games.
“Luke has incredible vision and awesome lacrosse IQ,” Incontrera said. “He’s very confident with the ball as a four-year varsity player and we trust him to do the right thing and find the right spots and see everybody. ... It was nice to see the offensive output because he’s been so good defensively.”
The Mustangs will have to wait nine days to play their next game. They will host La Plata in the opening game of their tournament on April 7.
Marriotts Ridge (1-1 county, 3-1 overall) — 16, South Carroll (0-1 overall) — 1