Hur­ri­canes blank Rams

Is­sac’s first-half goal stands up as lone goal

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.

PHOTO BY WAL­LACE BAR­RON

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.

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