River Hill extends streak to 27

Still formulating plan, No. 3 Hawks dominate No. 5 John Carroll, 4-0

Girls soccer

September 06, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

The way River Hill sees it, the early part of the 2001 girls soccer season is going to look a lot like a jigsaw puzzle. Until the Hawks determine where the pieces fit, it's going to be tough to see the big picture.

But from John Carroll's perspective, the Hawks look pretty complete already.

That's because the third-ranked Hawks dominated the No. 5 Patriots at River Hill yesterday, getting two goals from junior midfielder Jamie Goertler in a 4-0 win. The victory was River Hill's 27th straight, dating from 1999, and may surprise those who thought the Hawks would slip this year after the graduation of Metro Player of the Year Shannon Jackson, who helped them go 18-0 last season.

"A lot of people are doubting us, but I think maybe we doubted ourselves at the beginning too," Goertler said. "We were able to finish our chances today and they weren't. I think it was a pretty good first step toward our season."

It didn't really start that way, but there was no argument with the finish. John Carroll, which prides itself on its defense, controlled the game in the initial 20 minutes, but lost track of sophomore midfielder Kara Lewis during a scramble in front of net. Lewis gathered a loose ball and blasted it past the outstretched arms of Patriots keeper Christina Dresher for the game's first goal.

"I felt like we dominated the first 20 minutes, but after they scored, we just deflated," said John Carroll coach Gary Lynch. "I have to congratulate them, they really put the nail in the coffin after they scored. We just weren't very intense out there and they were. We needed to stop them on defense because we're not going to score a lot of goals, but we didn't do that like we should have."

The Hawks admit they're not a very big team this year, but they made up for that by spacing the field well. Goertler, senior Ashley Hooper and sophomore Shelley McDuff gave the Patriots all they could handle several times. The high-pressure attack paid off again when fullback Shana Myers came up to help on a cross, and her pass ended up hooking right into net for a 2-0 halftime lead.

"We had some concerns during our play days about whether we could finish," said River Hill coach Joan Kelso Smedley. "A lot of our players haven't had a whole lot of playing experience until today, and we're still figuring out who goes where and where everyone fits, but it's coming along."

Goertler opened the second half with the prettiest goal of the game, blasting a shot into the top right corner of the net from 20 yards out. She added another on a breakaway with two minutes left.

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