Playoff paybacks can be brutal.
Marriotts Ridge lost to Glenelg in strokes in the playoffs last fall, then lost by strokes just two weeks ago in the regular season. A year ago, Howard was pummeled by Old Mill, 9-0, in the playoffs.
Those memories made the Nov. 2 sectional final victories especially sweet for the Mustangs and Lions, who both won, 1-0.
Mt. Hebron, a 3-1 winner over Atholton, and River Hill, a 5-1 winner over Southern-AA, also won sectional titles.
3A East, Section II
Kryptonite nullifies Superman’s power just as grass seems to nullify Atholton’s.
For the second time this season, Mt. Hebron defeated Atholton, 3-1, playing on its home Bermuda field.
“I’m really proud of my kids. It was a total team effort,” said Mt. Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland.
It was also a come-from-behind effort. Eight minutes into the contest, Tori Raulin put the Raiders on the scoreboard.
By halftime, however, the Vikings had a 2-1 advantage with goals from Denise Linn and Natalie Fyock. Katie Anderson on assisted both tallies.
Fyock was an unexpected addition to the line-up. She broke her thumb several weeks ago and needed surgery. The day of the game, her doctor cleared her to play with a cast on her hand. She made the most of her chance to be back on the field.
“It was 1-1 and I knew we had to have a goal,” she said.
Anderson hit the ball to Fyock, who tipped it with just her left hand on the stick.
Atholton had more than twice as many corners as Mt. Hebron but could not capitalize on them.
Linn’s defensive play in the circle is one reason the Raiders had trouble scoring.
“My girls played with heart; it was a good game,” said Atholton coach Martie Dyer. “Hebron did a good job. It is what it is; we could have done better.”
“We just really wanted it. I could see that in our play,” Anderson said. “Last year we were knocked out in first round by Atholton, so we redeemed ourselves.”
The Vikings will face Chesapeake-AA in the 3A East region final on Wednesday.
Mt. Hebron 3, Atholton 1
Goals: MH — Denise Linn, Natalie Fyock, Jaden Ross. A — Tori Raulin.
Assists: MH — Katie Anderson 2.
Saves: MH — Rachel Bowman 7, Julia Cargiulo 5. A — Adira Colton 4.
Halftime: Mt. Hebron, 2-1
2A East, Section I
Marriotts Ridge is entering uncharted waters. After six consecutive years of having Glenelg end their season, the Mustangs won, 1-0, to advance to the regional final.
“This is our first playoff win over Glenelg in school history,” said senior Bailey Souder. “It gives me chills to think about it.”
As always, the game was intense and tightly contested between the 2015 co-county champions.
“Our rivalry with them is crazy competitive,” said Glenelg goalkeeper Noelle Frost.
Midway through the second half, the Mustangs turned to their “twin super powers” — Sarah and Caroline Blalock — for the only goal the team would need.
Bridget Cavanaugh set up the play by carrying the ball from defensive end into the circle, where Marriotts Ridge was awarded a corner.
Frost had the initial save, but the ball deflected off her right side and Sarah Blalock finished off a shot from her twin.
Since losing to Glenelg two weeks ago in a 1-1 game that was decided in strokes, the Mustangs have been working on trying to move the opposing keeper. They kept Frost (10 saves) scrambling.
The Mustangs came close to scoring an insurance goal several times, but couldn’t capitalize.
The Gladiators’ offensive unit failed to connect on corner plays or from the field.
“We all played together on defense. We have each other’s backs,” said Marriotts Ridge’s Bailey Christianson. “It was go after the ball, get the ball, get the ball out of the circle.”
“We knew there was nothing to lose,” Souder added. “We knew that we could do it and we gave it everything we had.”
Marriotts Ridge will host River Hill in the 2A East region finals on Wednesday.
Marriotts Ridge 1, Glenelg 0
Goals: MR — Sarah Blalock. G — none
Assists: MR — Caroline Blalock.
Saves: MR — Miranda Alam 3, Katie Garman 2. G — Noelle Frost 10.
Halftime: tied, 0-0.
2A East, Section II
Gabby Hamburger scored four goals and added an assist as River Hill overcame a 1-0 deficit and scored five second-half goals to beat Southern-AA, 5-1.
Southern’s starting goalkeeper was mobile, aggressive and gave River Hill’s offense fits.
“We had a lot of shots, we just couldn’t get it around the goalie,” said River Hill coach Shelly Chamness.
The Hawks will travel to Marriotts Ridge for the 2A East region finals on Wednesday.
River Hill 5, Southern-AA 1
Goals: RH — Gabby Hamburger 4, Emmy Thornton. S — Olivia Patton.
Assists: RH — Gabby Hamburger, Caleigh Covell. S — Delaney Sancomb.
Saves: RH — Caroline Kral 4. S — 20 (Sloane Robinson/Caroline Miller) 20.
Halftime: Southern, 1-0.
4A North, Section II
After playing through 60 minutes of scoreless field hockey, Howard beat Old Mill, 1-0, in stunning fashion – with a goal 16 seconds into overtime.
Old Mill won the coin toss and was awarded possession. When the Patriots took the pass-back, Keller charged the receiver, stole the ball, carried it the circle and beat the goalie with a shot that hit the far corner of the goal.
“It was an amazing finish. I am so proud of our girls,” said Howard coach Kristen Vance. “Both teams gave it everything that they had. Both teams had opportunities and it easily could have gone either way.”
Howard has faced Old Mill in the playoffs three years in a row. Two years ago, the Lions lost in strokes; last year the team was embarrassed in a 9-0 loss.
For Howard’s five seniors and it’s lone junior, that made the outcome of this year’s game personal.
“We got past Old Mill — finally,” Vance said.
The Lions will travel to face Dulaney for the 4A North region finals at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Howard 1, Old Mill 0 (OT)
Goals: Ho — Nicole Keller.
Saves: Ho — Casey Lawlor 6. OM — Ashleigh Bathras 6.
Halftime: tied, 0-0.