La Plata girls soc­cer blanks Lackey

War­riors inch closer to first-ever SMAC Po­tomac Di­vi­sion ti­tle

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

La Plata and Lackey were the only two un­beaten teams in the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Di­vi­sion en­ter­ing Tues­day night’s match.

Now there is only one un­de­feated team left stand­ing as the War­riors rolled to a 4-0 vic­tory over the Charg­ers.

La Plata (8-2, 4-0 SMAC Po­tomac) have now won eight straight games since open­ing the 2017 sched­ule up with losses to Howard County’s Wilde Lake in a tour­na­ment and SMAC foe Calvert.

Dur­ing the streak, the War­riors have de­liv­ered mar­quee wins over Leonard­town,

McDonough and came off a gru­el­ing 1-0 road win over North Point last Thurs­day.

La Plata will most likely wrap up its first-ever Po­tomac Di­vi­sion crown with only two more Charles County op­po­nents left on the sched­ule. It trav­eled to West­lake on Thurs­day, then is sched­uled to go to Hunt­ing­town for a non­di­vi­sion game at 6 p.m. Mon­day and con­clude di­vi­sion play when it hosts Thomas Stone at 5 p.m. Tues­day.

The War­riors wrap up the reg­u­lar sea­son on Oct. 20 when they are at North­ern in an an­tic­i­pated non­di­vi­sion con­fer­ence matchup at 6 p.m.

“We are on a nice roll right now and this team is re­ally mo­ti­vated,” La Plata head coach Kevin Barry said. “We’ve had some tough end­ings to the sea­son the last cou­ple years. This year our goal was to beat our county ri­val North Point, win the di­vi­sion and that has been our driv­ing force. We keep mak­ing those im­prove­ments to keep get­ting bet­ter. We are seiz­ing our op­por­tu­ni­ties and we have dif­fer­ent con­tri­bu­tions from dif­fer­ent peo­ple.”

La Plata was in to­tal con­trol from start to fin­ish as it dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion and held Lackey to just one shot at­tempt for the en­tire game.

With an ar­ray of scor­ers on their of­fen­sive at­tack, the War­riors were led by se­nior for­ward Alex Faleno­foa with two goals on the night.

Five min­utes into the game, fresh­man Kris­ten Ging found se­nior for­ward Kait­lyn Fitzsim­mons, who nailed a shot at the back of the net for the first goal of the game.

“It has been a rough sea­son for me, but when

I’m on the field my goal is to score and help the team win,” Faleno­foa said. “Sky’s the limit for us. We are like a fam­ily and ev­ery­one goes 110 per­cent. When some­one is down we pick each other up and keep push­ing for­ward. We can go real far in the play­offs if we keep it up.”

With less than 8 1/2 min­utes left in the half, Faleno­foa con­nected on a shot from about 15 yards out with her left foot on a pass from Fitzsim­mons to push the lead 2-0, which would be the half­time score.

Falen­foa scored her sec­ond goal of the game early in the sec­ond half on a shot from the right cor­ner on an as­sist from se­nior mid­fielder Macken­zie DePri­est-Kessler to push the lead to 3-0.

DePri­est-Kessler then drib­bled through a cou­ple of Lackey de­fend­ers and scored on a feed from team­mate from Jor­dan Grif­fith to cap off the game’s scor­ing.

Lackey (4-5, 2-1), which won 2-1 in dou­ble over­time over St. Charles on Thurs­day, got strong play from goal­keeper Han­nah Bate­man, who fin­ished with 11 saves and made sev­eral div­ing stops in the game.

La Plata start­ing goal­keeper Macken­zie Hig­don played just the first half and did not record a save. Fresh­man Lau­ren VanClef, who was re­cently moved up to var­sity, recorded one save in the sec­ond half for the War­riors.

“We were miss­ing four play­ers to in­jury tonight, but no ex­cuses. Play­ers have to step up and take ad­van­tage,” said Lackey head coach Dione Con­ley. “La Plata has a solid team and we are con­tin­u­ing to build this pro­gram and we are go­ing to be right there in the next few years.”

Lackey is sched­uled to take on host McDonough in an­other di­vi­sion game at 6 tonight.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

La Plata’s Alex Faleno­foa nailed a shot at­tempt past Lackey’s de­fense for a goal mid­way in the first half in Tues­day’s 4-0 win in a SMAC Po­tomac Di­vi­sion con­test. Faleno­foa fin­ished with two goals in the game.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

La Plata’s Kait­lyn Fitzsim­mons looks to make move on the Lackey de­fense in Tues­day’s 4-0 win over vis­it­ing Lackey in a SMAC Po­tomac Di­vi­sion girls soc­cer con­test. Fitzsim­mons fin­ished with a goal and a as­sist in the game.

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