Dillahay’s goals lead South River
Seahawks beat Arundel in 4A East; Eagles win 3A South
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.”