Hurricanes blank Rams
Issac’s first-half goal stands up as lone goal
It all starts with defense for the Huntingtown girls soccer team.
In Tuesday night’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference nondivision contest, defense is what keyed the Hurricanes to the eventual 1-0 victory over host McDonough.
Huntingtown (7-1 overall), which delivered its fourth shutout of the season, was anchored by a strong defensive effort and got one strong shot from Mia Issac.
After McDonough sophomore goalkeeper Marisa Gibbs knocked Janelle Ridgewell’s shot attempt away, the ball bounced back to Issac, who followed up with a shot attempt the top of the box, hitting the right corner of the net with 13 minutes left in the first half. It proved to be the eventual game-winner when the final whistle blew.
“We did a great job moving forward and one girl went out to the wing she crossed and Janelle took a shot and it bounced off the keeper,” Issac said. “When I saw the shot bounce back to me, I just took a touch and put it in the back of the net. Our back line is really strong and it makes it easier for our midfielders to get up field.”
In what was a physical, defensive battle, Huntingtown was able to control possession throughout the game and limit the Rams’ scoring chances.
“McDonough put a lot of pressure on us, played physical and that changes the game,” Huntingtown head coach Charlie Raphael said. “You can even the playing field like running through people and they do a good job at it. If we did a better chance of putting away our goals in the first half, the game wouldn’t have been this tight. Defense is the strongest part of our team and we have to continue to
build from the back.”
The Hurricanes have outscored their opponents 48-4 on the season.
Senior defender Annie Doyle, a transfer from Elizabeth Seton, a private school in Prince George’s County, has been a huge part for the Hurricanes’ backline defense thus far this season.
“I was kind of nervous at first with the transition, but now I feel real comfortable and we are a team now,” Doyle said. “Our backline defense is very strong and I have a very good support system. I think our team can go to states and win it. When we play like we know we can, we can beat anyone. I’m very glad that I came here. When I was at Seton, we use to scrimmage teams in this conference, so I kept up with the public schools around me.”
McDonough (6-2), which suffered its second one-goal loss in three games, played Huntingtown very tough throughout, but just couldn’t get many clean shots offensively.
McDonough head coach Dave Bradshaw felt that playing Huntingtown, a team that has been one of the top teams in the state in recent years, will only help his squad moving forward.
“We obviously respected them as a team. They’ve been one of the top teams in our conference for years and I’ve very proud of our girls,” said Bradshaw, whose team reached the Class 1A state semifinals in 2016. “They got one goal that was the difference, but we have to keep fighting through these things. It was an evenly matched game. Playing teams of this caliber and style of soccer will help us in November. Our girls are continuing to jell and lift each other up on the field.”
Huntingtown sophomore goalkeeper Shannon Cummings finished with four saves in the shutout. Gibbs also had a strong day for the Rams with six saves.
Tuesday, the Hurricanes are scheduled to host North Point in another nondivision contest, while McDonough will travel to La Plata in a SMAC Potomac Division game. Both games are slated for 6 p.m.
Huntingtown junior midfielder Mia Issac possesses the ball up as junior forward Jordan Parker trails from behind in Tuesday’s SMAC nondivision girls soccer contest. Issac scored the lone goal of the game in the first half as the Hurricanes delivered the eventual 1-0 shutout.