River Hill girls soccer only needed one goal to advance to next week’s Class 3A state championship game.
Junior Allie Lubitz scored with 2:44 left in the first half Saturday to lift the Hawks (13-3) past Huntingtown, 1-0, in a semifinal at Linganore High School in Frederick.
“I thought either way, Huntingtown played well. I thought one goal either team, whoever scores, I think that was going to be it anyway,” River Hill coach Brian Song said.
Lubitz took a feed from freshman Madison Berge and did the rest. Her shot from the left side banged off Hurricanes goalie Emma Cox and landed inside the near post.
“It was a great ball from Maddie and we just had to keep pushing and then we got the goal,” Lubitz said. “Really, it was a team effort and I just finished the ball. We all worked so hard and we really deserved that goal.”
The goal came after teammate Ara Omitowoju made several runs toward the Huntingtown (13-4-1) goal. Her first chance came just four minutes into the game when Cox mishandled the ball in front of the net. Omitowoju raced forward, but the loose ball went out of bounds.
Twelve minutes later, Omitowoju dribbled the ball too far ahead and it also rolled out of bounds. With 10 minutes left, she hit a high shot that was saved by Cox. Omitowoju passed to Lubitz for a shot, but it was easily saved by Cox.
“I don’t really get frustrated because it’s kind of what the game is,” Omitowoju said of the empty chances. “Honestly, I feel like the goal of all my runs is to kind of get up the energy of the rest of the team, so we can, like Allie said, finish a goal. I only get frustrated when I’m going, going and I trip on myself so that’s the only time.”
Cox made a big stop with four minutes left in the half. The senior keeper snuffed out a Hawks run with a slide at the top of the box and cleared the ball away.
The Hurricanes played more aggressively and better overall in the second half, but the Hawks failed to give in.
“The wind played a lot of factor today,” Song said. “We had advantage in the first half and they had advantage in second half, but overall, we bent, bent, bent, we didn’t break.”
The Hurricanes had three corner kicks, including one with 20 seconds to play. River Hill stayed away from the big shot and senior goalie Caroline Duffy handled all that came her way, finishing with six saves.
“It sucks that we really prepared and all and for them not to execute the way that I know they wanted to, too,” Hurricanes coach Scott Cleary said. “The tears and stuff coming off the field, even from girls that played an unbelievable game. They know they can play better.”
Cox finished with four saves.
“When postseason comes, everything changes because anybody can beat anybody in this game right?” Song said about next week’s state final. “It will be no different, whoever our opponent is, and if our girls play to their ability, that’s what I’m looking for and I think they will do well.”
The Hawks will meet the Oakdale-Mt. Hebron winner in next week’s state final at Loyola Maryland.