Marriotts Ridge beats River Hill for first county girls soccer title

Since 2006, the first year of varsity sports at Marriotts Ridge, the school's girls soccer team has methodically improved every season.

Thursday night, the 2010 Mustangs garnered the program's first significant accomplishment.

The 2010 Mustangs are able to enjoy the benefits with the program's first significant accomplishment.

Traveling to perennial Howard County power River Hill in the regular-season finale todecide the county championship, the No. 6 Mustangs proved resourceful with their scoring chances and poised at the defensive end.

The result was a 2-0 win over the No. 8 Hawks that gave the Mustangs their first county championship.

Marriotts Ridge (12-1-1) ended the regular season with a 10-1 county mark and earned the right to play Anne Arundel County champion No. 5 Severna Park in the District V championship game at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Meade High.

River Hill, which has won eight county championships, was denied its ninth for a second straight year by the Mustangs.

Last year, the teams played to a 0-0 overtime tie that lifted Reservoir past the Hawks for the county crown on the season's last day. This year, it was the Mustangs' turn to celebrate.

"This means everything to us," Marriotts Ridge fifth-year coach Robin Grey said. "Since the start, we've been working so hard to establish ourselves in the county, and a lot of times I think we've been overlooked. This very much validates it."

Midfielder Alex Price and forward Katie Kanner — both seniors — scored first-half goals.

Price opened the scoring in the 15th minute when she converted a penalty kick, neatly placing a shot in the left corner after the Hawks were called for a hand ball in the penalty area. Kanner made it 2-0 with 11:33 remaining in the half, pounding a header home off a corner kick from Price.

The Hawks pressed for most of the second half, but a strong defensive effort led by junior sweeper Maria Hochuli and some near misses kept them frustrated.

Elizabeth Bamber and Sheridan Street both had clean shots inside the penalty area that went high and wide in the early part of the second half. Midway through, senior midfielder Kellie Song hit a free kick from 20 yards that skimmed off the crossbar.

With 7:50 to play, senior goalkeeper Kristene Mumby (six saves) made a brilliant reaction save on a shot in front with traffic around. A few minutes later, after the final whistle blew, she had all her teamates rushing at her in celebration.

"It's a first," said Kanner, who has 10 goals this season. "We earned our respect tonight and all the work we put in the past four years has finally paid off. I've never felt better in my four years."

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

Girls soccer

6 Marriotts Ridge 2, 8 River Hill 0

Goals: MR -- Price, Kanner.

Assists: MR -- Price; .

Saves: MR -- Mumby 6; RH -- Burnett 2.

Half: MR, 2-0.

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