Senior Megan Chun talks about River Hill’s 2-0 win over Wilde Lake on Nov. 3.
While River Hill girls soccer began its postseason run with a convincing win over Glenelg, coach Brian Song felt it was necessary to talk with Megan Chun, one of his senior captains.
“I said ‘You know you didn’t play your best,’” Song said. “And she knew, so she goes ‘I’ll make it up.’”
Three days later, Chun responded by scoring the game’s only goals in a 2-0 win over Wilde Lake on Friday night. The Hawks (14-2) will host Calvert in the 2A South final on Tuesday.
“Yeah, so I kind of had a bad Glenelg game,” Chun said with a smirk. “This game, I really wanted to come back after it and come back for my team. I thought I kind of let them down, so getting two goals out here for this big game was really important to me.”
Wilde Lake (12-3-1) was well aware of how Chun and the other Hawks midfielders — mainly junior Brigette Wang and senior Victoria Tran — could impact the match with their speed. The WIldecats witnessed it during their regular season defeat Oct. 10. Wang scored, Chun had a pair of assists and River Hill came away with a 2-0 road win.
Coach Megan Shea attempted to counter that speed Friday moving her faster players from the middle of the field to the outside. She thought the adjustment worked, backing it up with the first-half statistics. Despite trailing, 1-0, Wilde Lake matched River Hill with two corner kicks and two shots on goal.
“Unfortunately, they had that indirect kick, and then the one incredible shot that went in,” Shea said. “But other than that, I thought we did a pretty good job of being back and forth and hanging with them.”
A disputable yellow card set up the first goal. With about 13 minutes left in the half, junior goalie Jenna Hutchison and Hawks junior Jules Grasso charged the bouncing ball. Hutchison got there first but collided with Grasso around the 8-yard line.
The referee saw Hutchison deliberately shove Grasso and gave her a yellow card, forcing her to the sidelines before the crucial set piece. In came freshman Nora Wilson.
Shea praised her for setting the wall, but Wilson couldn’t prevent the “well-executed kick” from piercing the bottom-right corner of the net.
“When I usually take set plays like that, I usually aim low and just kick it as hard as I can,” Chun said. “I knew where I wanted to put it. There was a wall, so I wanted to try and avoid that, and I got a goal out of it.”
Chun’s second goal, which came at the 28:42 mark of the second half, occurred in the run of play during what she called a “pause in the game.” So, with no one contesting her, Chun sent a drive from 20 yards out on the left side. The ball sailed past a diving Hutchison, doubling River Hill’s advantage.
While Wilde Lake pushed forward for about the next 10 minutes, the Hawks responded with a barrage of quality shots after that. Hutchison corralled some, while the Hawks missed others high or wide. Chun, looking for a hat trick, had an attempt clank off the right post.
Knowing their season was on the line, the Wildecats made one last push in the final minutes. And with 6:11 left, they received the chance they had been looking for.
Junior Julianna Bonner, one of the county’s top goal scorers, finally beat one of its top defenders (junior Danielle Poindexter) before feeding sophomore Autumn Wright. Only sophomore Alexa Thompson stood between her and a goal.