Northern girls cruise to region title
Patriots score early and often against Poly
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.
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.