In the battle of Route 99, Marriotts Ridge needed two-second half goals to overcome its cross-town rival Mt. Hebron Tuesday.
“They grow up together, they play together, when we walked in and step off the field, even going through the handshake, there is a comradery there,” said Mustangs coach Robin Grey after the 2-1 win. “Whenever we’re on the field, no matter the record of the team, it’s personal because the communities are so close.”
Through the first half of action, Marriotts Ridge (2-3-1 county, 3-4-1 overall) attempted eight shots on goal, versus just two for the Vikings (1-4-1, 1-7-1). Despite the shot-on-goal differential, Mt. Hebron tallied one on the scoreboard first, as Julz Lamparella put away a breakaway opportunity with just more than 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
Leading into the second half, Grey asked her team if they wanted to win. Her words must have resonated, because the Mustangs controlled the majority of the second half, propelling them to the win, which in-turn, broke their three-game losing streak.
“We’ve been struggling with morale,” Grey admitted. “There’s been games where we’ve thought we’ve had it, but the outcome didn’t go our way. We’ve had some games where we’ve not played well and the other team outplayed us, and we needed tonight. They knew that coming into it and I instilled that at half and I asked them to show me — and they did.”
Marriotts Ridge kept attacking the Vikings back-line, accumulating 20 shots on net. Finally, at the 27:21 mark, Kendall Luz took advantage of the pressure, as she buzzed around a loose ball in front of Mt. Hebron keeper, Megan Pallozzi, and poked in the equalizer.
“They definitely had more of the momentum in the second half than we did,” said Vikings coach Tim Deppen. “My big thing at halftime was that we weren’t challenging for the ball as well as we could have. We weren’t challenging the ball when it was in the air, we weren’t challenging the ball when they had their backs to us, so there’s a lot we need to learn from this game, to move forward and improve.”
With the clock winding down with just more than 10 minutes to go, Jenna Boulin netted the go-ahead goal for the Mustangs. The senior striker struck a shot atop the 18-yard box that snuck inside the left corner of the goal, giving Marriotts Ridge the 2-1 win.
“Our coach told us that we worked way too hard to lose this game, and we know we had to win this, so we all pulled together and we worked really hard and we put something great together,” Boulin said. “With the help of my teammates they were able to pass it to me and we were able to push it to the goal and get the winner.”
“I’m happy with the win, but I am frustrated that we can’t finish the ball off when we need to,” Grey added. “We made some adjustments at half, I really have to start trying to find that killer instinct with them. We play these great balls but there’s no one there to finish it off and it showed in the first half. We made some adjustments, asked if they wanted it and they produced. Could we do better? Heck yeah, but we continue to grow. It’s frustrating, but I’d rather have a good frustration in that, then fall apart in other areas as well.”
Emma Meininger finished with three saves in net for Marriotts Ridge, while Pallozzi recorded 15 stops throughout the match.
“First half, sun in her eyes (Pallozzi was) real confident, they tried to send a couple from 30-40 yards out, tried to send them into the sun and I thought she did a great job reading the ball,” Deppen said of the junior keeper. “She times her runs when she’s coming out one-v-one really well. I love the work Pallozzi puts in. She’s confident back there, she’s never flustered, she sees the field well, she sees the ball well, so I’m real happy with Pallozzi.”
To commemorate the friendly rivalry between the two schools, Mt. Hebron had a Howard County youth soccer team, Team Germany, walk out with the Vikings as lineups were announced before the game. Coached by Adam Leader, the group of girls are made up of future Vikings and Mustang soccer stars.
“Adam and I used to teach together 10 or 15 years ago — his wife is actually my principal now. So their daughter plays on the team and all the girls will either come to Hebron or Marriotts Ridge, so he said, “hey, the girls are going to come up to watch your game,” and I said, “why don’t we do something like World Cup style, where they walk hand-in-hand and have like a buddy for the game,”” Deppen explained. “So over the past couple weeks it just turned into a great idea. We got the rosters up there, we ordered pizzas and get some community support for Hebron and Marriotts Ridge.”
“That was all Hebron and such an impressive gesture,” Grey added. “But that team is a split of our future Mustangs and our future Vikings, which they saw a great game tonight, so hopefully they are our future and they're excited to play for us.”
Around the league
Reservoir 2, River Hill 1 (Tuesday)
The Gators extended their winning streak to four Tuesday night, by defeating previously unbeaten River Hill.
Reservoir came out of the gate strong, with several quality opportunities in the opening 10 minutes, but Hawks keeper, Katie Caddigan played big and kept the game scoreless. Midway through the first half, the Gators had a great chance inside the six-yard box, but Caddigan stopped the attempt at point-blank range.
It was River Hill who got on the board first, as the ball was cleared up to Bridgette Wang who worked the ball to Megan Chun down the sideline. Chun took the ball end line, and sent a cross through the six-yard box, which Wang tapped in far post for the lead.
“River Hill is a young, but very talented team. They played hard the whole game and really pushed us,” said Reservoir coach Phil Ranker. “I am sure as the year goes on and they continue to gain experience they will just keep getting better and better.”
The Gators continued pressuring after enabling the goal, and had a few more chances inside the 18, but finally, with 15 minutes remaining until halftime, Clara Janush picked up a loose ball on the edge of the 18-yard box and struck a shot to the far corner, tying the game up at one apiece.
Reservoir didn’t relinquish the pressure after putting in the equalizer, but the Hawks remained organized in the back. But with three minutes remaining in the half, the Gators sent a cross in the box, which deflected off several players before finding the feet of Cassidy Pham, who sent the ball to Julianne Knoblett, who in-turn, knocked in the go-ahead goal.
River Hill pressed throughout the second half, trying to tie up the score. The Hawks kept playing balls in the box, but the Gators’ Janie Romer, played well in net, as she gained control of each effort, holding Reservoir’s lead.
“I am very proud of how the girls played tonight,” Ranker added. “Anytime you play the second end of a back-to-back you have an easy excuse for a let down. They went into the game hungry and made sure they played their hearts out.”
Wilde Lake 2, Long Reach 1 (Tuesday)
The Wildecats added their fifth straight win Tuesday after defeating the Lightning. Wilde Lake’s first goal was a poised header by Sahar Zoghi, off a Amy Radcliff cross. But it was center back Annie Hudec who knocked in the go-ahead goal, from a corner kick taken by Brynn Drury. Rachel Kim netted the lone Long Reach score.
Jenna Huchison finished with 11 saves in the win for the Wildecats.
“Tonight our team really showed how mentally and physically tough they are. They were so composed, they challenged every 50/50 ball, and they didn’t let down when things didn’t go their way,” said Wilde Lake coach Davia Procida. “Sydney McNamara was poised and relentless, and the entire team rallied around each other. Long Reach put the pressure on in the second half, and especially after their goal. They are a very dangerous team.”
Howard 6, Oakland Mills 1 (Tuesday)
The Lions continued their winning streak, as they overcame a quick start by the Scorpions and great goaltending by Emily Yarn, to earn its sixth straight victory.
Oakland Mills netted the games first goal six minutes into action, as freshman Kerry Browne finished off a run and found the back of the net. Howard responded three minutes later, when Tessa Walsh set up Grace Regal’s first goal of the game. The first half remained tied until Caroline Harlin cleaned up an initial shot by teammate Krista Whelan. Ella Orzechowski and Caitlin Murray got in on the action in the second half, each notching a score, while Regal converted on two more goals – earning her second hat trick of the season. Walsh finished with two assists in the game, while Lauren Mayner and Orzechowski tallied one assist in the match.
Centennial 3, Hammond 2 OT (Tuesday)
It took 80-plus minutes of action to decide the winner between the Eagles and Golden Bears Tuesday evening, and in the end, Centennial created chances in the box, which earned them a penalty kick and the win.
“We had another game full of chances and continue struggling to score. At least we are creating the chances,” Eagles coach Steve Baxter said.
Centennial took the early 2-0 lead in the first half, as Hammond nearly closed the deficit to one before intermission, but Centennial goalkeeper, Shannon Lear made the breakaway stop, allowing teammate Megan Oliver to clear it out of danger. However, the Golden Bears tied up the match in the second half, with goals by Jennah Hassan and Katie Lastova, pushing the game into extra time.
In over time, the Eagles’ Jasmine McCree played a through ball to Reese Western, who had the one-v-one with Hammond keeper, Vicki Howard. The shot deflected out toward the top of the box, where Ashley Molz took a left-footed shot that headed toward the back of the net, but a Golden Bear defender reached up and caught the ball, disallowing the goal. She was given a red card for the handball, and Centennial was awarded the pk. Senior Jesse Dunagan was called upon to take the kick, and calmly placed her shot in the net, giving the Eagles their second consecutive county win.
Western finished with two goals, while McCree ended with an assist. Lear recorded one save, while Courtney Mcvicker earned five saves in relief duty.
Howard played well in net for the Golden Bears, recording eight saves in the match, but also came out and ate up plenty of crosses and loose balls throughout the game.
Atholton 2, Glenelg 0 (Tuesday)