Dil­la­hay’s goals lead South River

Sea­hawks beat Arun­del in 4A East; Ea­gles win 3A South

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Glenn Gra­ham —Jeff Sei­del, For the Bal­ti­more Sun

Fresh­man Riley Dil­la­hay loves be­ing a part of the South River girls soc­cer team.

So much so, she asked coach John Sis what she had to do to make a con­tri­bu­tion in Mon­day’s Class 4A East re­gion ti­tle game against ri­val Arun­del.

In­jured for much of the sea­son and her po­si­tion on defense no longer avail­able, Dil­la­hay wel­comed Sis’ idea of us­ing her speed and left foot to play mid­field.

Dil­la­hay made the most of her time there. She scored the first two goals of her high school ca­reer and the No. 5 Sea­hawks were able to hold off No. 7 Arun­del for a 2-1 win that sends them to the state tour­na­ment for the 11th time, and third time in four years.

South River (15-2-1) will meet the win­ner of to­day’s North re­gion cham­pi­onship — Perry Hall or Mont­gomery Blair — in the state semi­fi­nal, sched­uled for Satur­day at Wise in Up­per Marl­boro. A time has not been set.

Dil­la­hay said her first-half goal “was amaz­ing, and I couldn’t imag­ine any­thing bet­ter.”

How about scor­ing the even­tual gamewin­ner in the sec­ond half?

Parked at the far post, Dil­la­hay pounced on a re­bound af­ter Arun­del goalie Sab­rina Do­herty turned away Faith Cos­grove’s shot. The goal, com­ing with 18:40 left, was needed af­ter the Wild­cats an­swered a cou­ple of min­utes later on a goal by Tier­ney Cre­han. Ev­ery time the Wild­cats tried to get the ball for­ward, the Sea­hawks’ defense was there. Se­nior Alexis Ward pro­vided the fi­nal clear as the whis­tle blew.

“We have seven fresh­men and hav­ing a fresh­man con­trib­ute by scor­ing goals is just amaz­ing,” Dil­la­hay said. “[Coach Sis] just talked about my speed and how use­ful I could be up top and it all worked out.”

The Sea­hawks came into the game ooz­ing con­fi­dence, and rightly so. On Fri­day, they claimed a 4-1 win over de­fend­ing state cham­pion Broad­neck in the re­gion’s Sec­tion II fi­nal — aveng­ing last year’s loss in the same game that went to penalty kicks. They also had pre­vi­ous suc­cess against Arun­del (10-5-2) with a 1-0 win com­ing in the Anne Arun­del County cham­pi­onship game Oct. 25.

The Wild­cats con­trolled much of the first 20 min­utes but were un­able to fin­ish any chances. Then the Sea­hawks con­verted with Dil­la­hay’s first goal com­ing off a feed from Jes­sica Turner with10:37 re­main­ing in the first half. Press­ing early in the sec­ond half, the Sea­hawks added to the lead on Dil­la­hay’s sec­ond goal.

“She made me look like a ge­nius,” Sis said. “She’s the fastest girl on our team and can def­i­nitely get in. Her fit­ness is very good, so she can get up and back with no prob­lem, and she loves to shoot. So she was at the right place at the right time and, ob­vi­ously, we’re very ex­cited for her and our se­niors be­cause they played for them tonight.”

For the fourth straight year, the Wild­cats had their sea­son end in the re­gion ti­tle game. Coach Laura Coe was proud of her team’s ef­fort through­out the sea­son and with a ros­ter filled with un­der­class­men — 11 ju­niors, three sopho­mores and three fresh­men — the Wild­cats will be in the chase to get over the hump again next sea­son.

“This has been a team from Day One. There aren’t any su­per­stars. A col­lec­tive team,” Coe said.

NO. 12 CEN­TEN­NIAL 4, WEST­MIN­STER 0: The Ea­gles (13-3-1) wanted to coun­ter­at­tack when pos­si­ble in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions in the Class 3A South re­gion fi­nal against the Owls (10-4).

That plan worked out well as No. 12 Cen­ten­nial scored three times on break­away goals en route to a 4-0 vic­tory over vis­it­ing West­min­ster.

Jas­mine McCree led the way with two goals and one as­sist de­spite strain­ing her ham­string and sit­ting out much of the sec­ond half. Coach Steve Bax­ter said they’re hop­ing she’ll be OK for Satur­day’s state semi­fi­nal against either Ur­bana or Blake at Linganore.

“We had a plan, and we ex­e­cuted it [well],” Bax­ter said. “If we got the ball in the mid­dle third, counter first. It worked per­fectly.”

McCree scored twice while McKenna Grif­fin added an­other as Cen­ten­nial got three goals over 4:20 in the first nine min­utes. Sarah Sopchick scored in the sec­ond half, also on a break­away.

For West­min­ster, it just proved to be an­other frus­trat­ing ef­fort in the re­gion fi­nal. The Owls played hard un­til the end on a very cold night but those three early goals proved too much to over­come and sent them to that third con­sec­u­tive loss in a re­gion fi­nal.

“We had a great sea­son,” West­min­ster coach Todd Muschik said. “They’re a great team, and they put away their chances.”

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