Unlisted Hooper connects for No. 3 River Hill, 1-0; Not in program, sophomore scores on header, downs St. Mary's in Pioneer final; Soccer; High schools


She wasn't listed in the program, but Ashley Hooper made her presence known at the 1999 Pioneer Girls Soccer Shootout last night.

The sophomore forward notched a goal in the second half to propel No. 3 River Hill to a 1-0 shutout of seventh-ranked St. Mary's in the title game of the invitational at Anne Arundel Community College.

Hooper, whose name was mistakenly left off the tournament program, headed a cross from junior midfielder Shannon Jackson for the game's lone goal.

"They just kept me off because I'm the only 10th grader," Hooper said.

The Hawks, undefeated in three games, reached the finals on the strength of a 2-0 victory against Broadneck. The Saints (3-1) beat No. 10 South River, 3-1, for the chance to upset River Hill.

St. Mary's dominated most of the first half, keeping the ball in its offensive zone.

During halftime, River Hill coach Joan Kelso Smedley told her squad to be more aggressive.

"I told them that they needed to shoot more," she said. "I told them that they needed to be quicker to the ball and to find the open player."

The pep talk seemed to work as the Hawks were awarded a corner kick in the 29th minute of the second half. The right-footed Jackson kicked a low ball from the right of St. Mary's freshman goalkeeper Sarah Sample, but a Saints defender blocked the ball back to Jackson, who then used her left foot to loft the rebound high into the air.

"I saw it flying," Hooper said of the ball. "I just backed up and headed it in."

After the goal, St. Mary's mounted considerable pressure on River Hill junior goalie Jennifer Wright, but with the help of a defensive corps anchored by senior co-captain Natalie Klisas, Wright turned back every shot.

Saints coach Jerry Tobin praised the Hawks for forcing his team into dumping its usual short passing game for a kick-and-chase strategy.

"Because of their speed, they took us out of our game," he said. "They had us chasing the ball."

In the consolation game, South River (2-1) beat Broadneck, 4-3, but not without a brief scare by the underdog Bruins. The Seahawks scored the game's first three goals on their way to what appeared to be an easy victory, but Broadneck notched two goals in a 17-second span of the 10th minute of the second half to narrow the gap to one.

But a goal by junior midfielder Terra Goswick in the same minute sealed the win for South River.

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