River Hill freshman stands tall in 3-1 win 5-foot-1 Masciantonio's goal gives lift vs. Oakland Mills

Girls soccer

October 04, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

River Hill freshman forward Maria Masciantonio stands 5-foot-1. And as she took her position near the goal awaiting Kathy Gaertner's corner kick, Masciantonio indeed looked small among some much taller Oakland Mills players

"I felt short," Masciantonio said.

Then she used her head. Literally.

Masciantonio's header landed in the right corner of the net to break a scoreless tie two minutes, 30 seconds into the second half and jump-start the 14th-ranked Hawks to a 3-1 Howard County league victory over the visiting Scorpions.

"She's an excellent header," River Hill coach Cynthia Odell said of Masciantonio. "She's got to have the highest vertical jump on the team. She has incredible athletic ability."

Said Oakland Mills' Lan Gardner about Masciantonio: "She was good in the air. She has a strong head."

Masciantonio's fifth goal of the season energized the Hawks (5-1 overall, 4-0 league). Four minutes later sophomore stopper Natalie Klisas scored from the right side with her left foot from 16 yards and suddenly River Hill had control of what was a tight game.

"Once we get that first goal, it picks up our confidence," said Klisas.

Odell talked to her team at halftime about "controlling the game and not trying to boot the ball long. I wanted them to be patient and create opportunities. We had to get more involved offensively."

Led by Gaertner, who had three assists, the Hawks did that.

"We've had a hard time against kick and run teams," Gaertner said. "But once we start passing it we really can get into the flow and things start working for us. We tried to use the width of the field today and once we did that things began opening up."

Oakland Mills (5-3-1, 3-1) played a strong first half but came out flat to start the second. "We stunk for that short period of time in the second half," said Oakland Mills coach Steve Matters, whose team dropped out of a first-place tie with Hawks.

Gardner said "something went wrong with our marks" and that allowed Masciantonio to score. "Then we let down for the next 10 or 15 minutes."

Klisas' goal was set up by a nice cross from Gaertner. Klisas took the pass and moved down the right side but was stopped by a defender. She made a quick move to her left and the kick got by goalie Nicole Petro.

Jessica Goertler scored with 10: 35 remaining after receiving Gaertner's direct kick near the far post. Goertler's shot hit the post but came right back to her and she finished it the second time.

Jennifer Johnson scored for Oakland Mills on a penalty kick with 7: 10 to play. The Hawks' Krista Killian was called for a foul in the penalty box against Oakland Mills' Shannon Glisas.

Pub Date: 10/04/97

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