Play­ing for another day

Hur­ri­canes de­feat Hor­nets, ad­vance to play Northern

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­

With a po­ten­tial rematch with county ri­val Northern on the hori­zon, Hunt­ing­town’s girls soc­cer team could have eas­ily looked past Tues­day af­ter­noon’s game with the vis­it­ing Great Mills Hor­nets.

Espe­cially given that one team’s sea­son was go­ing to end fol­low­ing the Class 3A South Sec­tion II semi­fi­nal, the Hur­ri­canes needed to fo­cus on Great Mills to en­sure that matchup with Northern came to fruition, ac­cord­ing to Janelle Ridgewell.

“We knew it could be our last game,” she said. “We didn’t want to go in think­ing we were just go­ing to kill them, since we’ve beat them in the past. We had to think, ‘They’re just like Northern.’ We had to play our game and try to score as much as we could.”

And while the first half was a rel­a­tively even af­fair, Hunt­ing­town flexed its mus­cle in the se­cond half to de­feat the Hor­nets and ad­vance to the sec­tion fi­nal against Northern. Hunt­ing­town is sched­uled to play at Northern at 5 p.m. to­day.

The win­ner of to­day’s sec­tion fi­nal moves on to the re­gion fi­nal on Tues­day ver­sus ei­ther City or Poly, both of Bal­ti­more.

“I think we started off very slow in the be­gin­ning,” Ridgewell said. “We tend to play to the other team’s level. Some­times it takes us some time to get into our rhythm and to find our pace. We wanted it a lit­tle bit more af­ter half. ... It turned our re­ally well.”

Hunt­ing­town (13-2 over­all), seeded No. 2 in the sec­tion, led 2-0 at the half on goals by Michaela Blu­men­stein and Mia Is­sac, the lat­ter of which came with less than five min­utes re­main­ing in the open­ing half. But Ridgewell elim­i­nated the prospects of any late-game drama with three goals within a roughly four-minute span early in the se­cond half, in­creas­ing the lead to a com­mand­ing 5-0 over the third-seeded Hor­nets.

Olivia Gil­lick, Audrey Flana­gan and An­nie Doyle each con­trib­uted goals to the Hur­ri­canes’ cause, as well, to al­low the team to ul­ti­mately coast to the eight-goal win. Hunt­ing­town head coach Char­lie Raphael was sim­ply pleased to ad­vance and to do so with­out suf­fer­ing any in­juries.

“We had no in­juries, so that’s good,” he said. “I don’t think we played very sharp, but it was kind of a strange game to play sharp in. We’ll get ready to play Fri­day, that’s the good news. We’ll see how it goes. I thought they did OK. Their keeper did re­ally well...

We’re healthy, will look for­ward to Fri­day and see where it goes.”

Hunt­ing­town de­feated Northern (12-1 af­ter an 8-0 win over Chop­ti­con on Tues­day) 2-1 when the teams met on Oct. 4. The loss stands as the only blem­ish on Northern’s ledger. The Pa­tri­ots won the SMAC cham­pi­onship and en­tered the post­sea­son as the top seed in the sec­tion.

Great Mills (5-8) put to­gether a solid first half against Hunt­ing­town on Tues­day, but was un­able to hang with the peren­nial SMAC power over the fi­nal 40 min­utes.

“We were hop­ing to do a lit­tle bit bet­ter,” Great Mills head coach Britni Kirker said. “We sort of lost

our com­po­sure in the se­cond half. We played one good half against them when we played in the reg­u­lar sea­son, the se­cond half, and this game we played one good half in the first half. Com­bine them into one game...”

Loss aside, Kirker was pleased with the pro­gres­sion her team showed through­out the sea­son.

“It’s still the best sea­son we’ve had in a long time,” she said. “This is the first year since I’ve been in­volved with the pro­gram that we got a first-round bye in the play­offs. We’re fo­cus­ing on the pos­i­tive. We had five wins, which was more than we’ve had in a long time, so over­all I think we’ve made a lot of im­prove­ments. Hope­fully we can keep im­prov­ing and be a lit­tle bet­ter next year.”


Hunt­ing­town’s girls soc­cer team hud­dles up be­fore its game against the vis­it­ing Great Mills Hor­nets on Tues­day af­ter­noon. The Hur­ri­canes de­feated Great Mills 8-0 to ad­vance to the Class 3A South Re­gion Sec­tion II fi­nal at Northern to­day.


Hunt­ing­town’s Olivia Gil­lick, left, and Alyssa Brookhart of Great Mills go af­ter the ball dur­ing the teams’ 3A South Re­gion play­off game at Hunt­ing­town on Tues­day af­ter­noon. Hunt­ing­town de­feated Great Mills 8-0.

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