Clinch­ing the Po­tomac

NP girls soc­cer blanks La Plata for 7th-straight win, 2nd-straight di­vi­sion crown

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MASON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Since be­ing shut out the first two games of the sea­son to Calvert County out­fits North­ern and Hunt­ing­town, the North Point girls soc­cer team has been on a dif­fer­ent level.

Tues­day, the Ea­gles kept up their win­ning ways with a 6-0 shutout of the vis­it­ing La Plata War­riors in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Di­vi­sion game.

Af­ter a slug­gish start to the sea­son, North Point (7-2, 5-0 SMAC Po­tomac) are rid­ing a seven-game win streak and haven’t al­lowed a goal dur­ing that stretch, outscor­ing their op­po­nents 44-0, as it clinched its sec­ond straight di­vi­sion title. It will play for the SMAC cham­pi­onship against the win­ner of the Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion win­ner.

The Ea­gles are off un­til Tues­day when they go to St. Charles for their fi­nal di­vi­sion game, come back home the fol­low­ing night for se­nior night ver­sus Leonard­town to makeup a Sept. 29 post­pone­ment and wrap up the reg­u­lar sea­son at home ver­sus Calvert next Fri­day. All games sched­uled for 6 p.m.

Even if North Point lost to St. Charles, it still would hold the tiebreaker over La Plata (7-4, 5-1) be­cause of Tues­day’s win.

“We’ve grown a lot from the first two games. We weren’t men­tally fo­cused at the start of the sea­son and we drew the hard­est bracket the first two games,” said North Point head coach Kiante Webb, whose team boasts ex­pe­ri­ence with eight of his 11 se­niors in the start­ing lineup. “I just had to go back to self re­spon­si­bil­ity for the girls and straight up team­work. Hard work and ded­i­ca­tion al­ways pre­vails and I’ve been try­ing to get them to build into that and looks like they bought in. The lead­er­ship has re­ally stepped up, seven in a row.”

Se­nior goalie Tai­lor Gam­mons fin­ished with nine saves in the shutout.

“When it comes to La Plata in past years

it has al­ways been a emo­tional game be­cause they are our in-county ri­vals,” Gam­mons said. “We put that to the side this year and we kept the ball mov­ing and played our game, kept it sim­ple. I think we can win the rest of our games in the reg­u­lar sea­son and go into the play­offs.”

North Point took a 3-0 half­time lead as se­nior striker Bri­anna Reid scored twice in the open­ing half.

Reid’s first goal came on a penalty shot in the eighth minute of the game af­ter she was knocked down down in the box by La Plata ju­nior Han­nah Lind.

With eight min­utes left in the first half, Reid’s sec­ond tally came as she took a shot with her left foot that hit the right cor­ner of the net past La Plata goal­keeper Macken­zie Hig­don (6 saves).

“This was a big game for us, but we are re­ally try­ing to get ready for next week with Calvert and Leonard­town, two re­ally tough teams out of county,” said Reid. “Last year we lost to Leonard­town three times, so we lit­er­ally want to beat them this year. We’ve been re­ally us­ing these past games as prac­tice to get bet­ter.”

In­be­tween the two Reid goals, North Point ju­nior for­ward Son­nia Moses tal­lied with 15 min­utes left that gave her team the 2-0 lead af­ter she split two La Plata de­fend­ers and nailed a shot with her right foot that hit the back of the net.

“Our first two games we weren’t play­ing as a team it was more in­de­pen­dent,” Reid said, “but now we are play­ing like a fam­ily and it has helped us out a lot be­cause we’ve done so much bet­ter.”

In the sec­ond half, North Point picked up the scor­ing once again as Taylor West, Des­tiny Edi­son and De­siree’ Salaver all added goals to se­cure the shutout win.

“The early mo­men­tum from the PK didn’t help, but we just didn’t play a com­plete game,” La Plata head coach Kevin Barry said. “We moved the ball up the field nicely in transition, but when it came to get­ting in­side the 18 we weren’t able to pro­duce like we have been. North Point was re­ally strong up top with Bri­anna and didn’t al­low us to get much go­ing.”

La Plata is next sched­uled to host Hunt­ing­town and close out the reg­u­lar sea­son at Chop­ti­con. Both con­tests are sched­uled for 6 p.m.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MASON

North Point se­nior for­ward Bri­anna Reid tries to get around La Plata’s Han­nah Lind, which led to the first of two goals on a penalty shot in the first half of Tues­day’s 6-0 win in a SMAC Po­tomac Di­vi­sion con­test.

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