UPPER MARLBORO – Soon after the first whistle of Saturday’s Class 4A state semifinal game, it was apparent the Perry Hall girls soccer team was playing at a higher level than Eleanor Roosevelt.
The No. 9 Gators swarmed the midfield to win balls and then were relentless in the attacking end.
Senior Ashlee Wilsynski scored the game’s first goal in the 12th minute and plenty followed for Perry Hall, which rolled to a 10-0 win over the Raiders from Prince George’s County at Henry A. Wise High School.
The senior front line of Kara Dietrich (three goals, three assists), Phoebe Canoles (four goals) and Wilsynski (two goals) continually found its mark.
The Gators (16-3) advance to next week’s state title game against Severna Park or Walt Whitman. The title games for each of the four classifications are set for Thursday through Saturday at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Complex with the schedule yet to be set.
The Gators, who fell to Walter Johnson in overtime in the 2016 state title game, are confident this is the group that can bring home the program’s first crown as they prepare to make their seventh title game appearance.
“We’ve worked so hard for this and we’re ready to finish it,” said Dietrich, who has 18 goals and 11 assists this season.
With goalie Lauren Gwin and center back Aya Neal anchoring the defense, an organized possession game that has become more efficient during the season, and a number of players capable of putting away scoring chances, the Gators are playing their best ball. The 2016 state title game loss also has them hungrier.
“We have a really talented group and have bonded really well this season, better than any of the other teams I’ve been on in my four years in the program. We’ve never been so close as a family as we are now,” said Canoles, who had 23 goals and four assists. “We know we can’t take any plays off, can’t take anything for granted and we’ve got to give it 100 percent and play with our hearts.”
Class 4A state semifinal
(at Henry A. Wise High School
9 Perry Hall 10, Eleanor Roosevelt 0
Goals: PH – Canoles 4, Dietrich 3, Wilsynski 2, Marciszewski. Assists: PH – Dietrich 3, Click, Kazakos, Dunkerton, Kim, Smith. Saves: ER – Ijomor 11; PH – Gwin 1, Ellenberger 1. Half: PH, 5-0