Cranking it up
Hurricanes defeat Patriots, advance to 3A South Region final
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-
“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.”
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.