River Hill shuts out Urbana in tuneup

No. 1 Hawks prevail, 2-0

playoff rematch possible as visitors lose first game

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 20, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The top-ranked River Hill girls soccer team should not be lacking in confidence at this point. Nevertheless, yesterday afternoon's result should help the Hawks' collective psyche considerably.

Junior forward Kara Lewis had a goal and an assist, and junior Jackie Stromberg scored to give River Hill its 19th straight victory, 2-0, over previously unbeaten Urbana in a Class 3A nonleague game in Clarksville.

With the victory, River Hill (13-0) clinched the top seed in the Class 3A East region tournament. Should the Hawks advance to the state semifinals, they would face the champion of the West region, where Urbana (10-1-1) is one of the favorites.

"We had a game plan, we went out, we executed that game plan, and that's really all that matters," River Hill coach Joan Kelso Smedley said. "As far as them seeing what we have, oh well."

The teams played an even first half with only five shots between them, and went to halftime in a scoreless tie. River Hill had the best scoring chance in the 30th minute when, on a free kick, senior midfielder Jamie Goertler put a perfect cross onto the head of senior midfielder Megan Buescher.

Urbana freshman goalkeeper Jacqueline Chen batted Buescher's shot off the crossbar, and the ball bounced to Lewis, who tapped it into the open net. But the goal was disallowed because the referee ruled Lewis was in an offside position at the time of Buescher's header.

In the 42nd minute, however, Lewis broke through to put River Hill ahead to stay when she took a pass down the center of the field from senior defender Sarah Ingle and beat Chen from 16 yards out.

Eleven minutes later, Lewis set up River Hill's second goal after she played a ball into the Urbana penalty box that Chen could not handle. Stromberg pounced on the loose ball and easily tapped it into the unguarded goal.

"In the beginning their defense was pushing up really fast, which was a problem because they kept catching us offside," Lewis said. "In the second half we timed our runs better. The first goal was just a good ball by Sarah, and me or Jackie could have had that."

Urbana's best chance came in the 56th minute, but River Hill senior goalkeeper Erin Ferguson made the better of her two saves on a shot from point-blank range by reserve Brittany Davis. Urbana's top scoring threat, senior Kathleen Vistica (22 goals), had no dangerous scoring chances.

"They deserve to be 13-0," Urbana coach Nick Cappadora said. "They play well. We match up pretty well. It was an overall equal game. They just got two and we got none."

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