Wilde Lake stifles Centennial, 3-0

Wildecats stop Siegel, meet No. 2 River Hill next

Class 3A East girls soccer

November 01, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After his girls soccer team suffered a one-goal loss to Centennial in the regular season, Wilde Lake coach Dave Procida decided to make a few changes for yesterday's Class 3A East region semifinal.

He had two players alternate in constantly marking Centennial's elusive Hayley Siegel, shifted to a lesser-used defensive formation and emphasized patience. The moves worked. Ali McDonough scored twice and Ashley Myrick added a goal and an assist as No. 15 Wilde Lake blanked No. 7 Centennial, 3-0.

Wilde Lake (11-2) advanced to Tuesday's region final against No. 2 River Hill, a 6-0 winner over Douglass of Prince George's County yesterday. The Hawks defeated the Wildecats, 2-0, in the regular season.

Procida often used a 4-4-2 defensive setup this season instead of a 4-5-1. But he wanted to clog up the middle and not let Siegel create scoring chances.

Claire McDuff and Tricia Young took turns shadowing Siegel, who still had her moments but needed to work harder. Goalie Bridget Holcomb had a spectacular second half, making six of her eight saves and helping the Wildecats hang on to the one-goal lead they had for much of the final 35 minutes.

"They bought into the [game plan], and we played a very intelligent game," Procida said. "We are peaking at the right time."

Centennial (9-3-2) controlled the ball for much of the first half, but Wilde Lake's defense often kept the ball away from Holcomb or stopped the Eagles from getting good shots.

After a scoreless tie at intermission, Wilde Lake took the lead just 4:56 into the second half when McDonough placed a shot just under the crossbar from about 5 yards. Myrick set up the play by beating two defenders for the ball and pushing it over to McDonough.

"I was just looking for the net," McDonough said. "We needed to put one in, [and] it changed the game."

Holcomb and the Wilde Lake defense then took over. Holcomb made critical saves, including when she gambled and raced about 15 yards out to stop Lily Boleyn on a breakaway.

The Wildecats then locked it up with two goals in the final 1:50. One score came when Laine Angle's corner kick glanced off goalie Liz Engle's hands and right to Myrick, who put the ball into the empty net. McDonough then re-directed an Angle free kick in with 20 seconds to go.

"We had a lot of chances, and we just couldn't find the net," Centennial coach Mike Senisi said. "They played well. They played hard, and they made the most of that."

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