Crank­ing it up

Hur­ri­canes de­feat Pa­tri­ots, ad­vance to 3A South Region fi­nal

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

After suf­fer­ing a 3-0 loss to Patux­ent in the third game of the season, the Hunt­ing­town Hur­ri­canes field hockey team had reeled off 10 straight wins head­ing into Mon­day af­ter­noon’s Class 3A South Region Sec­tion II fi­nal against the vis­it­ing North­ern Pa­tri­ots.

Lost in the win streak, though, for Hunt­ing­town’s Alexa Zeruto was the fact that she didn’t feel the team had been play­ing up to its ca­pa­bil­ity. That changed with Mon­day’s ef­fort, as the Hur­ri­canes opened up an early lead and de­feated their county ri­vals 3-0 to ad­vance to the 3A South Region cham­pi­onship game. Hunt­ing­town will host Blake, of Mont­gomery County, at 3:30 p.m. Wednes- day with a spot in the state semi­fi­nals on the line.

“We re­ally picked it up this game,” Zeruto said. “I think the end of the season we started play­ing down to some teams, but I think to­day we picked it back up. We had more sticks on the ball, we were hus­tling, had more in­ten­sity. We were just able to get the ball down and put it in.”

Hunt­ing­town (13-1), which was the No. 1 seed in Sec­tion II of the region, wasted no time in open­ing up a 2-0 lead, with Emma Pike scor­ing both in the game’s early mo­ments. Pike slammed the ini­tial tally home off of a penalty cor­ner, while she slipped an­other into the goal shortly

there­after to give the hosts what proved to be an in­sur­mount­able lead.

“We def­i­nitely started out strong,” Pike said. “We’ve usu­ally been start­ing out weak, but we were hus­tling to the ball.”

Zeruto was able to bang a third goal home in the early stages of the sec­ond

half, fur­ther se­cur­ing the Hur­ri­canes’ place in the next round.

North­ern (8-5), the sec­tion’s No. 2 seed, had earned its place in the sec­tional fi­nal with a dra­matic 3-2 win over Chop­ti­con in the pre­vi­ous round. But against their county ri­val, the Pa­tri­ots’ season reached its con­clu­sion on Mon­day.

“We put a good ef­fort out there. It’s cold and it’s

windy and we did what we could do,” North­ern head coach Co­raJo Toz­zolo said. “The girls worked hard and we had a great season, beat Chop­ti­con twice which was awe­some. The game last week was re­ally ex­cit­ing, but all good things have to come to an end.”

For Hunt­ing­town, the vic­tory con­tin­ued an im­pres­sive run for a young team that has just one se-

nior.

“Young team, great team, hard-work­ing team. They’re an all-around great pass­ing team. They get along, you couldn’t ask for much more,” Hunt­ing­town head coach Shan­non Per­setic said. “To be 13-1, as young as this team is. ... When they come to prac­tice they keep ask­ing ques­tions. They want to learn more and more. As a coach you couldn’t ask

for much more. It’s ex­cit­ing. I’m happy for them.”

“I feel like ev­ery game we keep get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter,” said Hunt­ing­town’s Ken­ley Zeruto. “We work on spe­cific things in prac­tice and it def­i­nitely shows in the games.”

This af­ter­noon, Hunt­ing­town will have the op­por­tu­nity to win the pro­gram’s fourth re­gional cham­pi­onship, which would be its first since 2015. While the season may not have nec­es­sar­ily opened with lofty ex­pec­ta­tions, that is the clear ob­jec­tive now, ac­cord­ing to Ari­ana Smith.

“I think from the first game to this game we’ve come a long way,” she said. “We’ve got­ten our act to­gether. We re­ally want to go to states. That’s our goal now.”

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

Hunt­ing­town’s De­laney Clime works to main­tain pos­ses­sion dur­ing the Hur­ri­canes’ 3-0 win over the vis­it­ing North­ern Pa­tri­ots in the 3A South Region Sec­tion II fi­nal on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

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