Apr. 9—Two first-half goals and stout defense in the closing minutes while playing down a man was just enough for River Hill to hold off visiting Reservoir Thursday in the county tournament quarterfinals.
River Hill, which avenged a 2-1 loss against Reservoir to open the season, flipped the script this time around with their own 2-1 victory to advance to face Centennial next Thursday.
“It is the playoffs now, so you do have to keep things in perspective and adopt that old adage of survive and advance. As well as we put things together in the first half, the second half was equally as much of a struggle,” River Hill coach Matt Shagogue said. “… Reservoir played great in that second half. They pinned us in, we couldn’t connect and basically played defense for 35 out of 40 minutes.
“But, all that said, give my boys credit for closing the game out. They did what needed to be done.”
River Hill (7-2), which had the wind at its back to start, got goals from Gerry Montemayor and Milan Gupta — both on back-post runs — to open up a 2-0 advantage in the opening 30 minutes.
However, the Gators didn’t hang their heads and began controlling the run of play immediately out of the half. The pressure was finally rewarded with 16:52 left in regulation as Nathan Macek scored on a penalty kick following a foul called at the top of the box in transition.
Ultimately, for all its time in the offensive third, that was all Reservoir (5-4) was able to get though.
“The boys played well today. We had two let downs in the first half that equaled goals, both similar in that we fell asleep back post. Overall, though, I thought we did a lot of good things,” Reservoir coach David Obeng-Darko said. “Second half we changed our shape and we decided to have a go. We just weren’t able to find that second goal we needed.”
River Hill senior Jonah Stoutenborogh, who assisted on the goal by Gupta, said the Hawks’ bend-but-don’t-break mentality was especially key after standout senior midfielder Jed Dixon was given his second yellow card and ejected with just over 12 minutes remaining. River Hill played with just 10 players the rest of the way.
“The last 20 minutes we were stuck in our half and then Jed getting a red card didn’t help, but we did what we had to do. We had people step up and that was great to see,” Stoutenborough said. “And, you know, a win is a win at this point and especially to get one against them after they were our first loss this season.”
River Hill’s first goal with 18:21 left in the first half was set up by a long ball played toward goal by Antonio Paulino. Stoutenborough let the ball bounce and go past him and onto the waiting foot of Montemayer, who finished into the back of the net. Seven minutes later it was a cross from Stoutenborough to Gupta that created the two-goal advantage.
In the late stages of the game, after Reservoir had pulled within one, the tension was high as the Gators looked for the equalizer. Obeng-Darko said afterward that the highly competitive nature of the contest was no surprise to him.
“We are rivals and have been for a long time. So to have a rivalry game and add in the playoffs, there is double incentive,” Obeng-Darko said. “It was a tough one, but the boys showed well.”
No. 3 River Hill now faces off against a second-seeded Centennial team that it lost to 4-3 at the end of March. Despite another tough matchup ahead, Stoutenborough said it’s a welcome challenge.
“We didn’t come into the playoffs expecting or wanting an easy road to the finals,” he said. “We like the competition and, if anything, it’s exciting to get a chance again at these teams that beat us.”
No. 3 River Hill 2, No. 6 Reservoir 1
Goals: RH — Gerry Montemayor, Milan Gupta; Re — Nathan Macek.
Assists: RH — Antonio Paulino, Jonah Stoutenborough.
Saves: RH — Eric Gesell 5; Re — Quinn Dean 7.
Halftime: 2-0, RH.
OTHER BOYS SOCCER SCORES:
No. 9 Marriotts Ridge 2, No. 1 Mt. Hebron 1 OT
The Mustangs (4-5) handed the Vikings (8-1) their first loss of the season, getting a goal from Ryan Zhong as time expired in the second half to force overtime and then a goal 90 seconds into the first extra period by Nevan Patcha to stun the county tournament’s top seed.
“We had so much momentum from that goal at the end of regulation that I think we just rode that wave,” Marriotts Ridge coach Quinn Khouri said. “I actually had to calm them down a little before overtime, basically remind them that the game was not over and we still had a job to do. But we decided to keep our numbers forward just like we had when we were looking for the tying goal and it worked out.”
On the game-winner, Cody Blessing sent a free kick from long distance toward the box and Patcha was there to redirect the ball in past the charging Mt. Hebron goalie. On the equalizer in regulation, Zhong headed home a corner kick by Evan Lyons literally as time expired.
Mt. Hebron, which scored just 30 seconds into the first half, had held the lead for the entirety of regulation before Marriotts Ridge staged the memorable comeback.
After winning just twice during the team’s first seven games, Marriotts Ridge now has beaten Atholton and Mt. Hebron to advance into a semifinal matchup next Thursday against Howard (5-4). The Mustangs defeated the Lions, 3-2, early in the regular season.
Khouri said he’s been waiting for the breakthrough all season.
“I fully believed the whole year that we were close. I never felt like we were out of any game that we played or teams were significantly better than us,” he said. “But at some point you need results, so tonight was absolutely validation. Credit to the boys for continuing to believe and making this happen.”
No. 2 Centennial 2, No. 10 Oakland Mills 1
Bryson Baker scored two second-half goals for the Eagles (7-1) and the team’s defense, led by Sammy Molz, held off a late comeback attempt by the Scorpions (3-7) to advance into a county tournament semifinal game next Thursday against River Hill. Oakland Mills got its goal on a long throw by Taylor Nelson that deflected in off a Centennial player.
The second-seeded Eagles will host No. 3 River Hill (7-2) in the semifinals next Thursday. Centennial defeated the Hawks 4-3 in the
Goals: C — Bryson Baker 2; OM — Own goal.
Assists: C — Andrew Fritz, Cameron Grable.
Saves: C — Parker Gerrity 11; OM — N/A 14.
No. 4 Howard 2, No. 5 Hammond 0
Ryan Hartlove and Karl Quist-Therson both scored to lead the Lions to the quarterfinal win over the Golden Bears. After earning a first-round bye, Howard (5-4) scored one goal in each half to top Hammond (5-5), which defeated Long Reach in overtime on Tuesday.
After a few missed opportunities, the Lions were able to find the back of the net on a free kick by Hartlove after Kenny Quist-Therson was taken down right outside of the 18. Kenny Quist-Therson later assisted his brother, Karl, in the second half for the Lions’ other goal.
With the triumph, No. 4 Howard advances to the semifinals next Thursday against No. 9 Marriotts Ridge (4-5), which upset previously undefeated Mt. Hebron in the quarterfinals. The Mustangs beat the Lions 3-2 early in the regular season.
Goals: Ho — Ryan Hartlove, Karl Quist-Therson.
Assists: Ho — Kenny Quist-Therson.
Saves: Ho — Luke Ryerson 4. Ha — N/A.
Halftime: 1-0, Ho.
Wilde Lake 2, Glenelg 1 OT
Desmond Adeyemi had a goal and an assist to lead the way for the Wildecats (3-7) to the win in the consolation bracket over the Gladiators (2-7).
Goals: WL — Desmond Adeyemi, Ousman Touray. G — N/A.
Assists: WL — Berdini Paul, Rowley Jackson; G — N/A.
Saves: WL — Nate Jones 8; G — N/A.
Halftime: 1-0, WL.
Long Reach 6, Atholton 1
Henry Sharon and Silas Sarmiento scored two goals apiece to lead the Lightning (3-6) to the blowout win over the Raiders (2-4) in the consolation bracket.
Goals: LR — Henry Sharon 2, Silas Sarmiento 2, Jason Blanco, Joey Mule; A — N/A.
No. 1 Marriotts Ridge 1, No. 8 Howard 0
After earning a first-round bye, the Mustangs continued their defensive dominance with their seventh shutout of the season. The Marriotts Ridge (8-0-1) shutout is the sixth straight for goalkeeper Caroline Albert.
The quarterfinal win over Howard, which defeated Atholton Tuesday, sends top-seeded Marriotts Ridge to the semifinals next Thursday. The Mustangs will host No. 5 Glenelg (6-3-1) for a chance to go to the finals April 16. Marriotts Ridge defeated the Gladiators 1-0 on March 18.
No. 2 Reservoir 4, No. 7 Centennial 1
Avery Oergel scored twice as the Gators took care of business against the Eagles in the quarterfinal victory. Karis Turner and Kat Parris both also scored for Reservoir (8-1). After earning a first-round bye, the Gators came out firing in the first half against Centennial (5-5) to take a 2-0 lead at halftime.
With the victory, No. 2 Reservoir advances to the semifinals next Thursday against No. 3 Mt. Hebron (7-1). The game will be a rematch of the Gators’ 3-2 loss to the Vikings on the last day of the regular season.
Goals: Re — Avery Oergel 2, Kat Parris, Karis Turner; C — Callie LasCasas.
Assists Re — Sam Guchhait, Turner, Sophie Davidson, Mia Smiraglia; C — Lauren Pellegrini.
Saves: Re — Lizzie Dudzinski 5, George 1; C — Rebecca Bianchini 3, Olivia Jackson 4.
Halftime: 2-0, Re.
No. 3 Mt. Hebron 5, No. 6 Wilde Lake 1
Riley Benson scored two goals to lead the Vikings to their seventh straight win. Sinclaire Green, Alyssa Corb and Jessie Barke also scored in the victory, while Barke tallied two assists.
The blowout win is the Vikings’ seventh straight. After earning a first-round bye, Mt. Hebron (7-1) didn’t hold back against No. 6 Wilde Lake (5-4-1). With the victory, No. 3 Mt. Hebron will play at No. 2 Reservoir (8-1) in the semifinals next Thursday. The game will be a rematch of the Vikings’ 3-2 win over the Gators on the final day of the regular season.
Goals: MH — Riley Benson 2, Sinclaire Green, Alyssa Corb, Jessie Barke; WL — Sara Moody.
Assists: MH — Barke 2, Amber Wartman, Lauren Gustafson, Alex Masse; WL — Jillian Ingram.
Saves: WL — Hannah Lowry 20; MH — Claire Fitzsimmons 2.
Halftime: 2-1, MH.
No. 5 Glenelg 2, No. 4 River Hill 2 (3-2 Glenelg in penalty kicks)
After beating Hammond in the first round Tuesday, the Gladiators won in a thriller against the Hawks. Glenelg (6-3-1) will travel to No. 1 Marriotts Ridge (8-0-1) next Thursday for a chance to advance to the finals on April 16. The Gladiators lost to the Mustangs 1-0 in mid-March.
Long Reach 1, Oakland Mills 0
Samantha Babik’s first-half goal lifted the Lightning (3-6-1) to the close win over the Scorpions (0-9) in the consolation bracket. Long Reach’s defense was stout throughout and didn’t allow a single shot on goal. While Oakland Mills is winless, only one of its losses this season was by more than three goals.
Goals: LR — Samantha Babik.
Assists: LR — Jessica Ruano.
Saves: LR — Kailey Leibe 0; OM — N/A.
Halftime: 1-0, LR.