Theisen's goal wins region for River Hill

Hawks gain state semifinal by beating Wilde Lake, 1-0

Class 3A East girls soccer

High Schools

November 05, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Erika Theisen scored about 10 minutes into the game and No. 2 River Hill used some big saves from goalie Katy Hudson and other timely defense to hang on for a 1-0 victory over No. 8 Wilde Lake in their Class 3A East regional final last night at Howard.

Some Wilde Lake players remained on the field for several minutes after the game, totally spent by their effort to bring down the Hawks.

River Hill (14-1-1) advanced to the state semifinal Friday at Howard against No. 5 Severna Park, which ended River Hill's season last year in the region final.

Last night, River Hill dominated the first 20 minutes. The Hawks kept the ball in Wilde Lake's end nearly the entire time, creating many scoring chances for top scorer Kara Lewis. The Wildecats looked rattled.

"The first 20 minutes, we were tentative on defense," Wilde Lake coach Dave Procida said.

Theisen scored after the Hawks controlled a goal kick from Wilde Lake's Bridget Holcomb. Jackie Kahler moved the ball over to Theisen, who floated a perfect 20-yard shot just under the crossbar on the right side, 9:56 into the game.

"I was looking for someone to cross it to," Theisen said. "I couldn't find someone and shot it for the right post."

But Wilde Lake (11-3) slowly got going on offense. Sophomore forward Ashley Myrick began creating one scoring opportunity after another. She one-timed a ball that rolled across the goal mouth and headed a shot just wide before Hudson (six saves) stopped another header.

Myrick barely missed tying the game with a strong effort in the final 20 seconds of the half. She outran four defenders down the right wing and sent a 15-yard shot toward the far post that Hudson knocked away at the last second with a leap.

"It was going in [and] I just hit it with the outside of my hand," Hudson said.

River Hill coach Willie Ibarra then challenged his team to stop letting Myrick and the Wildecats win the majority of 50-50 balls near midfield. The Hawks did a better job of that in the second half, slowing Myrick and her team.

But the Wildecats still pressured River Hill throughout the second period.

Hudson and River Hill's defense made the difference in the end. Slowing Myrick proved crucial in the final 40 minutes.

"We were disorganized in the midfield, and they were winning the 50-50 balls during the [end of the first half]," Ibarra said. "We had to win those 50-50 balls in the second half ... and be more aggressive."

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