One goal does it for La Plata girls soc­cer

DePri­est-Kessler scores to beat North Point

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­ Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

Through­out the sea­son, the La Plata High School girls soc­cer team has prided it­self on be­ing able to score goals on set pieces.

Thurs­day evening at North Point, the War­riors’ lone tally came on such a play as they up­ended the Ea­gles 1-0 in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Conference Po­tomac Di­vi­sion clash.

La Plata (7-2, 3-0 SMAC Po­tomac) has won seven straight games since open­ing the sched­ule with losses to Wilde Lake of Howard County and SMAC foe Calvert. Among the seven straight wins in­clude mar­quee vic­to­ries over Leonard­town, McDonough and North Point (3-4-1, 1-1).

The War­riors lone tally in Thurs­day night’s win came in the sec­ond half on a free kick by se­nior Ju­lia Simp­son that se­nior Macken­zie DePri­est-Kessler redi­rected into the net past North Point goal­keeper Kiana Webb.

“We work on that play a lot in prac­tice and we al­ways call them Pink Flamingo 1 or Pink Flamingo 2 or what­ever num­ber we’re on,” DePri­est-Kessler said. “That was Pink Flamingo 14 and that was the first time we’ve scored on it. Ju­lia sent in a great free kick and it just sailed deep enough that I could get a foot on it.”

Simp­son also re­calls the nick­name given the play in La Plata prac­tices and fol­low­ing a score­less first half against North Point she was hop­ing to get one more chance to con­nect with her se­nior team­mate.

“It just came to me one day in prac­tice and that’s what we’ve been call­ing it ever since,” Simp­son said. “When I hit it I saw Macken­zie break be­hind their last de­fender and she was able to one-touch it past their goalie. That was such an ex­cit­ing mo­ment. For us to be able to come in here and beat them on their turf re­ally means a lot. We’re good, but we know we can go far this sea­son.”

La Plata 11th-year head coach Kevin Barry could not recall his team beat­ing North Point dur­ing his ten­ure with the pro­gram — the first and only time prior to Thurs­day was Oct. 2, 2007, a 4-1 War­riors win — but quickly com­mended his play­ers for their ef­fort and abil­ity to up­end three qual­ity pro­grams in North Point, McDonough and Leonard­town since open­ing the sched­ule with a pair of set­backs.

“Maybe it was the full moon or the plan­ets and stars align­ing, but we were fi­nally able to win one here,” Barry said. La Plata next is sched­uled to play at home ver­sus Lackey at 6 p.m. Tues­day fol­lowed by a trip to West­lake for a 6 p.m. Thurs­day con­test. “The girls played with so much en­ergy. We had some good scor­ing chances in the first half and then Ju­lia and Macken­zie came through on that set piece. We work a lot in prac­tice on those plays and I was glad one of them paid off.”

North Point head coach Kiante Webb watched his daugh­ter, Kiana, en­joy a stel­lar game in goal, fin­ish­ing with 11 saves, and saw his mod­er­ately de­pleted ros­ter — the Ea­gles are mi­nus six play­ers due to in­jury — bat­tle against a se­nior-laden La Plata squad.

“For us to be able to play that well against them says a lot about my girls,” Webb said. “We just lost a tough, dou­ble-over­time game against Hunt­ing­town on Tues­day and we’re down six play­ers. But ev­ery­one played hard the whole game and we prob­a­bly just ran out of gas there at the end. But I was proud of them.”

North Point fresh­man Jor­dan Fel­ton re­ceived a lot of at­ten­tion from the La Plata de­fense through­out the con­test and de­servedly so. The Ea­gles new­comer dis­played pre­co­cious drib­bling and pass­ing skills and one of her shots car­omed off the left post and ended up be­ing cra­dled by War­riors se­nior goal­keeper Macken­zie Hig­don.

“We had some good scor­ing chances and so did they,” Fel­ton said. “Both goalies played very well. They kept the game close. I thought we had a few good chances in the first half, but we could not con­vert. It was a well-played game on both sides. We just have to put it be­hind us and get ready for Thomas Stone and McDonough.”

North Point se­nior for­ward Karsyn Dod­son took most of the Ea­gles’ free kicks and throw-ins and made nu­mer­ous stel­lar passes to Fel­ton and her team­mates that even­tu­ally were cra­dled by Hig­don (8 saves).

The Ea­gles were sched­uled to be at Thomas Stone on Tues­day and next to host St. Charles at 6 p.m. Thurs­day.

“Both teams played re­ally well,” Dod­son said. “We knew it was go­ing to be a re­ally tough game. Both goalies made a lot of tough saves. We still have some tough games left against county teams that we have to fo­cus on. We played well, but they were fi­nally able to get one goal against us.”

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