North­ern girls cruise to re­gion ti­tle

Pa­tri­ots score early and of­ten against Poly

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

BAL­TI­MORE — Less than a week af­ter a dra­matic vic­tory over long­time county ri­val Hunt­ing­town in penalty kicks, the North­ern High School girls soc­cer team es­chewed any sense of drama on Tues­day evening as the Pa­tri­ots cruised to a 9-0 vic­tory over host Bal­ti­more Polytech­nic In­sti­tute to cap­ture the 3A South Re­gion ti­tle.

North­ern (14-2-1 over­all) ad­vanced to play ei­ther C. Mil­ton Wright or Tow­son in the 3A state semi­fi­nals at 7:30 p.m. Satur­day at Linganore High School in Fred­er­ick

Tues­day, North­ern wasted lit­tle time gain­ing the up­per hand over Poly as it scored two goals in the first 12 min­utes and led 5-0 at the in­ter­mis­sion. Amid the damp­ened, slick ter­rain at Poly which even­tu­ally pro­duced an eery fog in the lat­ter stages of the game, the Pa­tri­ots ex­e­cuted with pre­ci­sion from the out­set, es­pe­cially on set pieces.

North­ern sopho­more Rachel Deresky got the Pa­tri­ots on the board roughly seven min­utes into the game when she drilled a hard, low shot past Poly (14-2) start­ing goal­keeper Olivia Houck. The Pa­tri­ots dou­bled the ad­van­tage roughly five min­utes later when Sarah Eliff, who tal­lied the game-win­ner against Hunt­ing­town in penalty kicks and was re­spon­si­ble for most of the cor­ner kicks on Tues­day, drilled a low shot that lit­er­ally slid through Houck’s hands.

“On the cor­ners I just try to send it in and let one of my team­mates get to it,” Eliff said. “I thought we ex­e­cuted very well right from the start tonight. We

came out and played with a lot of en­ergy and con­fi­dence and get­ting those first two goals so quickly re­ally helped take a lot of the pressure off.”

Af­ter Deresky tal­lied her sec­ond of three goals less than 10 min­utes later to ex­tend the Pa­tri­ots’ lead to 3-0, North­ern added

to its ad­van­tage when Rose Fi­acco scored her first goal of the out­ing on a cor­ner kick. Fi­acco sent the kick into the box and Houck leaped up to grab it briefly, only to watch the ball slip through her hands and into the net for a gen­uinely for­tu­itous goal.

Fi­acco added her sec­ond goal of the oc­ca­sion five min­utes later to lift the Pa­tri­ots to a com­mand­ing 5-0 lead with over 10 min­utes still re­main­ing in the first half. At that point, many of the

starters yielded the stage to the North­ern re­serves, but it hardly meant the Pa­tri­ots were about to rest on their lau­rels over the last 50 min­utes of play.

“Even though we were up 5-0 at half­time, we still wanted to come out in the sec­ond half and ex­e­cute as well as we could,” said Deresky, who along with Fi­acco would con­clude the night with a hat trick. “We still have a lot of things we want to work on be­fore Satur­day. I’m ex­cited to be play­ing

in a state semi­fi­nal [at Linganore High School] on Satur­day.”

North­ern emerged from the sec­ond half with its starters back on the field and the Pa­tri­ots were hardly will­ing to play con­ser­va­tively. Amid an early at­tack, Eliff scored off a re­bound for her sec­ond of the night roughly one minute into the sec­ond half, then Taylor Tol­son de­liv­ered her lone score off an Eliff cor­ner kick to ex­tend the mar­gin to 7-0 roughly 10 min­utes later.

Deresky recorded her third goal of the out­ing five min­utes later to push the lead to 8-0 and Fi­acco capped the scor­ing with less than 10 min­utes re­main­ing by notch­ing her third goal of the night.

The Pa­tri­ots kept Poly re­serve goal­keeper Michaela Ce­sp­ida busy through­out the sec­ond half al­though the out­come had long been de­cided be­fore she as­sumed the net-min­der’s chores at the break.

PHOTO BY STEPHEN PARKS

The North­ern High School girls soc­cer team hap­pily poses with their plaque af­ter cap­tur­ing the 3A South Re­gion ti­tle with a 9-0 vic­tory over Bal­ti­more Polytech­nic In­sti­tute.

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