At the 29th Annual Mount de Sales Friendship Tournament Saturday afternoon, River Hill went up against two tough opponents, in Oakdale and Liberty.
"We showed up here, played some good competition," said Hawks coach Kelly Rabil, after her team suffered back-to-back losses from the Bears and Lions.
River Hill dropped its matchup against Oakdale, 16-6, while taking a 19-6 loss against Liberty in a game following immediately after.
In the opening contest against the Bears, the Hawks got behind early, as Oakdale stormed out to a 3-0 advantage before River Hill senior Katie Caddigan put an end to the run after she finished a free position at around the 17-minute mark. Freshman midfielder Lexi Thelemann added the Hawks second of the game, after she finished off a free position with about eight minutes remaining in the half, cutting the deficit 5-2. Paige Caprara and Gabby Hamburger added two more goals before the half, but the Bears remained in control and took a 10-4 lead into the break.
"I mean there is a few things we're going to work on as far as our play and our communication, but overall I think we just need to keep doing what we're doing," said Oakdale coach Beth Nave after the win. "We were excited to get out of the county with some good competition."
Hamburger opened up the second half with a goal for the Hawks, taking advantage of a Bears turnover on the other end of the field. But Oakdale responded with a 5-0 run in the following 15 minutes, with goals by Emma Bowman, Sara Parnes, Alyssa Wright and Devin Coombs. Hamburger registered the sixth and final goal for River Hill with about seven minutes remaining, before Paige Kolb added one more for the Bears with 39 seconds left.
Hamburger and Thelemann led the way with two goals apiece, while Caddigan and Caprara each added one. In net for the Hawks, Annie Maloney played solid, as she finished with 10 saves.
Parnes, Bayman and Wright led Oakdale with five and three goals, respectively, while Wright also added two assists and Bayman one.
"They were a good team," Nave added. "Well coached, and we were impressed with them and we were just hoping we could hang with them long enough to get comfortable and get outside the county and do what we have been practicing all this time."
River Hill had about 10 minutes of rest before getting back on the field to take on Liberty. The Lions had lost their first game of the day against the host Sailors.
Liberty had already faced two Howard County opponents thus far this season. The Lions lost to Marriotts Ridge on March 22, 19-3 and Glenelg, 7-6 in double overtime on April 5.
"It's great. Our schedule this year, if you look at Lax Power in terms of strength of schedule we're ranked second in the state," said Liberty coach Randy Hawes. "So we went to playing some weaker teams in Fredrick County – Oakdale is not one of them – but then picking up two of the best teams in the state and in Carroll County we have two of the others, so it's a tough schedule."
The Lions got on the board first against the Hawks. About three minutes in, they picked off Maloney's pass on the clear and quickly got it down to junior Logan Haggerty for the score. Haggerty immediately added another off the ensuing draw, making it 2-0 Lions.
However, besides the early blunder on the turnover, Maloney played remarkably throughout the game. The junior goalie tallied 10 saves in the first half alone, and finished out with 14 stops in the game. Maloney saved three consecutive attempts on one Lions possession, which then led to a Caddigan goal on the other end at about the 19-minute mark. Hamburger assisted on the play, which cut the Liberty lead in half.
However, the Lions came away with the majority of draw controls throughout the game, which allowed them to dictate the tempo. Liberty came up with the next two draw controls, resulting in two goals by Abby Overman and Hannah Miller– who had previously assisted on the Overman goal. The two scores were separated by two seconds.
Hamburger got River Hill back on the board midway through the half, as she finished off a nice feed from Thelemann, cutting the lead, 4-2.
However, in the final two minutes, the Lions issued three quick goals that ultimately allowed them to pull away. Miller and Sophia Harvey put away goals nearly thirty seconds apart, while Grace Griffin finished off a free position with nine seconds remaining until halftime, which pushed the Lions advantage 8-2 at the break.
"We moved the ball around well. Transition looked good, cuts were very good and I thought our slides on defense we picked up," Hawes said. "We've had an up and down – I have two teams, it depends what team shows up for what game. Even today, the first game we lost, but it could have gone either way. A couple shots in the first half I would have liked to have back, but we're playing well."
Erin Swecker earned the Hawks first goal of the second half, taking advantage of a 10-v-10 situation after both teams were awarded yellow cards on back-to-back plays. After they waited out the penalty, River Hill managed a man-up situation for about a minute or so, which resulted in a Caddigan goal about 50 seconds after Swecker. Devon Filippone assisted on the play, which cut the deficit 11-4 with about 19 minutes left.
The Lions added two more before Hamburger responded, finishing off another feed from Thelemann midway through the half. Caprara put away River Hill's sixth and final goal with about six minutes left.
Haggerty and Harvey led the Lions with four goals apiece, while Griffin tallied two goals and two assists in the game.
"Goalie is phenomenal. They play well, they're coached well," Hawes said of the Hawks. "I can tell they're under-manned – they only had three subs, that's tough and playing back-to-back is tough, especially first or second time it's been nice out and hot out."
River Hill (3-4) is back in county-play Tuesday, as it hosts Atholton at 5:30 p.m.
Oakdale 16, River Hill 6 (Saturday, April 16)
Goals: O – Parnes 5, Bayman 3, Wright 3, Coombs 1, Schweigrath1, Niacastro 1, Kolb 1, Iapicca 1; RH – Hamburger 2, Thelemann 2, Caddigan 1, Caprara 1.
Assists: O – Niacastro 3, Wright 2, Hoyle 2, Bayman 1, Coombs 1, Blazer 1.
Saves: O – Semkiw 11; RH – Maloney 10.
Halftime: 10-4 Oakdale.
Liberty 19, River Hill 6 (Saturday, April 16)
Goals: L – Haggerty 4, Harvey 4, Griffin 2, Overman 2, Anuslewski 2, Hartman 2, Miller 2, Farley 1; RH – Hamburger 3, Caddigan 1, Filippone 1, Swecker 1.
Assists: L – Musgrove 2, Ellis 2, Griffin 2, Haggerty 1, Miller 1, Harvey 1; RH – Thelemann 2, Hamburger 1, Caddigan 1, Filippone 1.
Saves: L – Rowland 8; RH – Maloney 14.
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Halftime: 8-2 Liberty.