River Hill extends winning streak to 28

No. 1 St. Mary's falls to No. 3 Hawks, 2-0

Severna Park earns tie

Girls soccer

September 08, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The Streak has become synonymous with Cal Ripken, but the phrase also has significant meaning to the River Hill girls soccer team.

The No. 3 Hawks claimed their 28th straight victory by defeating top-ranked St. Mary's, 2-0, in the nightcap of the Pioneer Shootout at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold last night.

River Hill, the reigning Class 3A state champion, which hasn't lost since the middle part of the 1999 season, has posted back-to-back wins against two of the top teams in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference - the Saints and No. 5 John Carroll on Wednesday.

Putting The Streak to the test against St. Mary's weighed on some Hawks players.

"We've been looking forward to this game all year," junior defender Megan Buescher said. "They've been ranked higher than us every year. That just pushes us to work harder."

River Hill (2-0), which upset the three-time IAAM champion Saints last season in the same tournament, did it again with a sturdy defense and a patient attack.

Although St. Mary's (1-1) took 19 more shots and had seven more corner kicks than the Hawks, they kept the Saints off the scoreboard with timely clears and impressive marking.

On the other end of the field, River Hill made the most of its chances. Awarded a penalty kick after a St. Mary's player touched the ball with a hand in front of the net, sophomore striker Shelley McDuff bunted the ball into the right side of the goal to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead with more than 21 minutes left in the first half.

With less than 25 minutes left in the second half, Buescher's throw-in from the left sideline skipped past a Saints defender, and freshman striker Aubrey Cronin redirected the ball over St. Mary's senior goalkeeper Katy Owings to complete the scoring.

Saints coach Jerry Tobin said the key was the second goal.

"In all honesty, we couldn't handle the long throw-in, and that's the third year in a row we've had problems with that," he said. "You can't let the ball hit the ground, and we let it hit the ground."

In the first game of the two-day tournament, sixth-ranked Severna Park could only muster a 1-1 tie against No. 14 Broadneck.

Although the Falcons, last season's Class 4A state titlists, had three direct kicks between the 10- to 15-yard range, owned a 24-7 lead in shots and had an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks, Severna Park failed to convert its opportunities.

"We're not happy with the outcome," said senior midfielder Erin Dubina, who scored the Falcons' lone goal. "Broadneck played their hearts out. We just couldn't finish our shots."

Severna Park (1-0-1) took a 1-0 lead with less than two minutes left in the first half. Senior midfielder Kate Hickman centered the ball from the right side and Dubina one-timed the ball inside the right post.

But the Bruins (1-0-1) evened the score less than a minute into the second half when senior midfielder Kelli Southard picked up a loose ball in front of the net and slipped it past Severna Park junior goalkeeper Brooke Shinaberry.

Bruins coach Jen Sweeney didn't mind a tie, but still wanted to see a complete effort from her squad.

"We have some players who didn't give everything they had and were standing around," she said. "We still have to come out and play two halves."

In the middle game, senior forward Jessica Upchurch's four-point day powered Arundel to a 4-0 victory over Dulaney (0-2).

Upchurch scored two goals and assisted on both of sophomore forward Alli Wilkerson's goals, but said the Wildcats (2-0) could've played better.

"We were a little sloppy with our passing and kicking too many long balls," Upchurch said. "I don't think we've played our best game yet."

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