La Plata girls soc­cer edges McDonough in dou­ble over­time

Faleno­foa scores in 2nd OT, War­riors girls soc­cer edges Rams

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

The last thing La Plata head girls soc­cer coach Kevin Barry wanted Monday night was an­other tough loss and it ap­peared his team might be headed that way un­til Alex Faleno­foa had her say.

Faleno­foa scored on a header in the 91st minute to carry the visit­ing War­riors to a 3-2 dou­ble over­time win over host McDonough at the Lesley W. Cook Ath­letic Com­plex in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Divi­sion con­test.

Faleno­foa took a ball from team­mate Taryn Ging and headed it into the left cor­ner past McDonough goal­keeper Alex Hebb in the first minute of the sec­ond ex­tra pe­riod.

“I saw that we were for­ward on our of­fen­sive side of the field and when I looked up, my [team­mate] was able to get it to me,” Ging said. “I was able to beat the [de­fender] and then I saw Alex at the far post so I sent it and she fin­ished it like in prac­tice.”

“Once I saw Taryn at the cor­ner I thought, ‘I have to get there, I have to get there,’” said Faleno­foa in one of her first games at for­ward. “Once I was there I knew I had to use my body so I just stuck my head in there. One of the great­est feel­ings ever.”

One of the great­est feel­ings ever, but to La Plata (3-3, 2-0 Po­tomac), also a ton of re­lief after some tough losses to open the season. The War­riors dropped a dou­ble over­time de­ci­sion to Calvert in their season opener and then fell 3-2 on a last-minute goal to Leonard­town.

“We’ve been on the tough end of some games and [tonight] we fi­nally won a tough one,” Barry said. “They’ve been mo­ti­vated to work through it and to keep fight­ing hard and they came out tonight and they an­swered back when they met ad­ver­sity and we got a ‘W.’”

McDonough (2-3, 0-2) has av­er­aged 4.0 goals per game in its two wins and just 0.66 in its losses, in­clud­ing shutouts at the hands of North Point and Chop­ti­con.

“We played well and we had op­por­tu­ni­ties to fin­ish and we didn’t fin­ish and they fin­ished in over­time,” McDonough head coach David Bradshaw said. “That’s what it comes down to in an over­time game, the team that takes ad­van­tage of its op­por­tu­ni­ties. We thought we gave ev­ery­thing we had and I’m proud of the ef­fort, but we couldn’t get the ball in the net.”

“All the credit to McDonough, they fought un­til the end,” Barry said. “That’s a tal­ented team, and they’re go­ing to be a tough team this season for who­ever else plays them.”

De­spite six cor­ner kicks, five to La Plata, nei­ther team man­aged to score in the first half.

“We came out and I think we were real ex­cited and a bit ner­vous that first half,” Barry said. “We had spurts where we were ex­e­cut­ing and then they were play­ing re­ally well, and we talked at half­time that we had to re­spond with our style of soc­cer. And we did.

The War­riors opened the scor­ing in the 51st minute when Ju­lia Simp­son lofted a 35-yard free kick into the far cor­ner of the net.

Just 67 sec­onds later, Kait­lyn Fitzsim­mons raced down the right side and steered the ball into the far cor­ner.

“Kait­lyn’s had a phe­nom­e­nal season so far,” Barry said of the ju­nior for­ward, “and she came in and worked well and she got a great goal there.”

McDonough re­fused to con­cede de­feat and cut the deficit to one when Lau­ren Ha­ley pounced on a loose ball in the box and drilled the ball into the cor­ner. Just mo­ments ear­lier, Ha­ley was robbed of a goal when La Plata goal­keeper Macken­zie Hig­don dove across the box and bat­ted away what ap­peared to be a sure goal.

Five min­utes later, Drew An­der­son con­nected from the top of the box to tie the game at 2.

The War­riors are next sched­uled to play host to Thomas Stone at 6 p.m. Thurs­day.

“The SMAC is al­ways com­pet­i­tive and we need to re­mem­ber that no lead is ever easy,” Barry said. “A team like McDonough you can’t give them a chance be­cause they’re go­ing to take more and they did that. [But] we re­sponded and said, ‘We’re not go­ing to lose an­other [tough] one.’”

“I think we just got a lit­tle over­con­fi­dent, which we’ve tended to do in some of our games,” Ging said, “but this is one we re­ally wanted so we just pushed through un­til the end.”

The Rams are sched­uled to be back in ac­tion host­ing McDonough at 6 p.m. Thurs­day.

“I’m al­ways pleased with my girls; we’ve played hard all year,” Bradshaw said. “My girls are fight­ers, they play hard, I’m proud of them, I don’t want any other girls, I love every one of them and I’ll con­tinue to grow with them. It’s just the way it is. We’re a very tal­ented soc­cer team. I don’t think any­thing’s hold­ing us back now. We just need to con­tinue to push on.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

McDonough’s Kennedy Bradshaw, left, and La Plata’s Alex Faleno­foa race to­ward a loose ball in Monday night’s game at McDonough. Falen­foa scored the game-win­ning goal in the first minute of the sec­ond over­time to give the War­riors a 3-2 win.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

La Plata’s Taryn Ging, left, and McDonough’s El­iz­a­beth Saoud bat­tle for pos­ses­sion dur­ing Monday night’s game at McDonough. Ging as­sisted on the even­tual game-win­ning goal to give the War­riors a 3-2 dou­ble over­time win.

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