All season long, Reservoir striker Amanda Jackson has showed she can score goals.
In Saturday's Class 3A state semifinal against defending champion Tuscarora, the standout sophomore also proved she can defend against them.
After giving the No. 9 Gators a first-half lead with a goal 10 minutes into the game, Jackson was given a different assignment at halftime.
Shadowing Tuscarora standout Aaran Parry in the second half, Jackson helped Reservoir come away with a 1-0 win over the Titans of Frederick County at CCBC-Essex to assure a spot in next week's state championship game.
It's the second straight state final appearance for Reservoir, who fell 3-2 to Tuscarora in last year's championship. The Gators (14-3-1) will meet Huntingtown — a 1-0 winner over No. 4 C. Milton Wright — at UMBC, with both teams vying for their first state crown.
"I like defense, I love it. So when I was playing it I enjoyed it, but I just felt more pressure because if Aaran would have scored I would have been disappointed," said Jackson, who has 13 goals to go with nine assists. "This actually felt amazing. … I hated that they beat us last year in the finals, so I'm glad we won this year."
More Class 3A
Huntingtown 1, No. 4 C. Milton Wright 0
: The Mustangs had plenty chances to score — particularly in a dominating first half — but were unable to find the net, enabling Huntingtown sophomore striker Amanda Johnson to score the game-winning goal with 12:43 to play in the second half.
C. Milton Wright, which captured the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference title, finished its season with a 15-2-1 mark, while Huntingtown from Calvert County moves on to the state final with a 15-2 record.
With the second half played on more even terms, the Hurricanes were able to score when junior midfielder Micaela Antzoulatos sent a corner kick to the middle that wasn't cleared, allowing Johnson to finish from 6 yards.
"I don't know if we ever got a 100 percent clean shot — everything seemed to be contested or was a ricochet," said C. Milton Wright coach Paul Austin. "That was a part of it, we were just missing. That's how it is a lot of times in the playoffs — it's that close and you have to take advantage of your chances. It was a great season — the girls played really well."
No. 8 Glenelg 4, Eastern Tech 1:
The Gladiators took charge midway through the first half, getting first-half goals from sisters Christina and Erin Kaminsky, and Danielle Burris for a 3-0 halftime advantage at Bel Air.
The Gladiators (13-3-2) advance to their eighth state championship game in a bid to bring home the program's seventh crown next week against Middletown of Frederick County at UMBC. Middletown defeated host Bel Air, 4-0
Eastern Tech, who got a goal from Jamie Richardson, finished the season 10-6-2.
Oakdale 1, Loch Raven 1 (Oakdale wins on penalty kicks, 4-2):
After the teams played 100 minutes of soccer to a 1-1 tie at North County, Oakdale of Frederick County advanced by finishing on all four chances in the penalty kick shootout.
Loch Raven, which captured its sixth state title last year, got a tying goal from Carly Cannon in the first half, with Kayla Toole and Chelsea Hunt providing the penalty kick goals. The Raiders finished the season 12-6.
Class 3A state semifinal
Huntingtown 1, 4 C. Milton Wright 0
Goals: H – Johnson.
Assists: H -- Antzoulatos.
Saves: CMW – Bowen 6; H – S. Taylor 7.
Class 3A state semifinal
9 Reservoir 1, Tuscarora 0
Goals: R – A. Jackson.
Saves: R – Fowler 5; T – Ulan 2.
Half: R, 1-0.
Class 2A state semifinal
(at Bel Air)
8 Glenelg 4, Eastern Tech 1
Goals: G – C. Kaminsky, E. Kaminsky Burris, McCarriher; ET -- Richardson.
Saves: G -- Carey 4; ET – Thompson 6, Bowers 3.
Half: G, 3-0.
Class 1A state semifinals
(at North County)
Oakdale 1, Loch Raven 1 (Oakdale won on penalty kicks, 4-2)
Goals: O -- Kober; LR -- Cannon.
Assists: LR -- Kleinhammer.
Saves: O -- Pasiarski, 4 ; LR -- Ruppel 5.