La Plata girls de­feat West­lake

War­riors start both halves quickly to move on in 2A South play­offs

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

Af­ter watch­ing their boys team bat­tle through 100 min­utes of score­less play against Calvert be­fore fi­nally pre­vail­ing in an ex­tended penalty kick shootout, mem­bers of the La Plata High School girls soc­cer team wanted to make sure they started quickly against vis­it­ing West­lake on Tues­day to avoid a sim­i­lar, dramatic fate.

La Plata (8-6 over­all) got one goal in the first three min­utes of play from ju­nior Kait­lyn Fitz- sim­mons and an­other in the open­ing minute of the se­cond half from ju­nior Ju­lia Simp­son and the War­riors added a late tally from se­nior So­phie Blouin to forge a 3-0 vic­tory over the Wolver­ines in a Class 2A South Re­gion Sec­tion I semi­fi­nal.

The War­riors, the sec- ond seed in Sec­tion I, will travel to top-seeded Calvert to play in the sec- tion fi­nal at 6 p.m. Fri­day to face a Cava­liers team that has got­ten the bet- ter of them in two sim- ilar, dramatic con­tests. Calvert de­feated La Plata, 3-2, in dou­ble over­time on Sept. 6, the Cava­liers elim­i­nated the War­riors from the 2A South Re­gion tour­na­ment with an­other over­time vic­tory last fall.

“We wanted to come out tonight and show that we’re ready for Calvert,” Simp­son said. “We had two re­ally good games with them. They beat us in over­time this year and last year in the play­offs. We have to come out strong. We re­ally wanted to win tonight so that we could get an­other chance to beat Calvert on Fri­day.”

In stark con­trast to the boys game that pre­ceded it on the same field, the girls con­test had con­sid­er­ably less drama.

“[Head] coach [Kevin Barry] talked to us be­fore the game about get- ting off to a fast start,” said Fitzsim­mons, who also plays lacrosse for the school in the spring. “I thought we came out strong and we con­trolled play from the start. It was only 1-0 at half­time, but I think we felt like we were in con­trol of the game.”

Fitzsim­mons had scored the lone goal of the first half, but the War­riors dom­i­nated play and kept Wolver­ines se­nior goal­keeper Makayla Price busy through­out. Simp­son, who took the cor­ner kicks for La Plata from the right cor­ner, had three gen­uine scor­ing chances in the first half only to watch those shots end just wide of the tar­get or in Price’s hands.

But in the open­ing minute of the se­cond half, Simp­son wasted lit­tle time giv­ing the War­riors a 2-0 lead when her shot eluded Price and car- omed off the right post and into the net. Her goal gave the War­riors a cush­ion and some much needed breath­ing room and vir­tu­ally elim­i­nated any chance the girls game would mir­ror the boys con­test in terms of dura- tion or drama.

“We were only up 1-0 at half­time, so we wanted to start the se­cond half quickly,” Simp­son said. “I think watch­ing the boys game got us re­ally pumped up. That game was so dramatic. We watched the last hour of the game from just be­hind the bench and when the boys fi­nally won that just gave us more mo­ti­va­tion to come out fast and win.”

West­lake had few good chances against La Plata goal­keeper Macken­zie Hig­don, who recorded one save. Ju­nior Jordan Davis and se­nior Vic­to­ria Roddy dis­played plenty of drib­bling skills through­out the con­test, but the War­riors mid­field­ers con­trolled most of the play and the full­backs pre­vent- ed the Wolver­ines from get­ting too many good scor­ing chances.

“I have to com­mend my girls for the way they played tonight,” West­lake se­cond-year head coach Kait­lyn Kobe said. The third-seeded Wolver­ines fin­ish 6-8. “The last time played them they beat us 6-0 and tonight we held them to three goals and two of them were just lucky shots. My girls re­ally played their hearts out. My se­niors gave me ev­ery­thing they had both years. I could not be hap­pier with the ef­fort.”

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

La Plata High School’s Kait­lyn Fitzsim­mons heads up­field in the se­cond half of Tues­day’s con­test against West­lake. Fitzsim­mons scored the War­riors’ lone goal in the first half as La Plata even­tu­ally pre­vailed 3-0 over the Wolver­ines in the 2A South Re­gion sec­tion semi­fi­nal clash.

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