Staff photo by DARWIN WEIGEL
Southern Maryland Newspapers -
Northern girls soccer has its run ended
Patriots fall to Linganore in 3A state semifinals
By Andy States Staff Writer
Linganore 2, Northern 0
Goals: Linganore (Coletti, Werner)
Saves: Northern (Routt 5); Linganore (Lapen 6)
BALTIMORE — As the Northern Patriots girls soccer team took the field at the Community College of Baltimore Couty-Essex for their Class 3A state semifinal on Saturday night, the hope was their season had two more wins left in it.
It didn’t, as it turned out, as the Linganore Lancers from Frederick County defeated Northern 2-0 to advance to Thursday’s championship game against River Hill of Howard County.
The loss prevented Northern, which was playing in its first state semifinal since 2008 and fourth overall in program history, from advancing to play in its first state final.
The loss did not, however, dampen the Patriots’ spirits regarding the season they put together.
"I thought it was pretty awesome. This is the farthest I’ve ever been and I’ve been on varsity for four years,” Northern senior Sarah Ridenour said. "This is the farthest we’ve ever gone. I’m really, really proud of everyone. Just getting here is awesome.”
Northern (13-3 overall) enjoyed plenty of possession time in the opening half, but never was able to create a prime scoring opportunity.
Linganore (17-0) had the same issue until Elizabeth Coletti was able to streak in and score on a partial breakaway with 9 minutes 2 seconds left in the opening half for the 1-0 lead.
Later, Coletti assisted on Megan Werner’s goal less than a minute into the second half to bump the lead up a goal. The two-goal edge proved to be plenty for the Lancers, who advanced to play in their first state final.
"I think we played a great team that deserved to win the game,” Northern head coach Jay Loveless said. "They had the opportunities and they took them. I think we played the game very well. We possessed the ball very well. We couldn’t quite finish tonight.”
In earning its place in the state semifinals, Northern had to navigate through a treacherous regional road.
First, the Patriots overcame county rival Huntingtown — a program that had reached three of the previous four state championship games — and a long road trip to win at Stephen Decatur of Worcester County before finally winning the region in a 2-0 win at Thomas Stone on Nov. 4. All of which left Northern junior Maggie Luke with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.
"I thought we worked extremely hard this season,” she said. "We won regionals, which is the first time we’ve beat Huntingtown [since 2008]. That was definitely a high for us, for sure. Obviously, our goal was states, and as we kept going we took it game by game and it’s sad that we lost, but I congratulate Linganore. It was a great, hard-fought game.”
This season could prove to be just the start for Northern, as well. Despite the fact that the team will be losing seven seniors this year, the Patriots are still a young squad. Northern had six sophomores and two freshmen on the roster for Saturday night’s game.
"I think they’ll all benefit from playing in games like this,” Loveless said, "and hopefully it will drive them to want to come back.”
For Luke, the hope was Saturday’s game was a beginning rather than an end.
"I think we have nowhere to go but up,” she said. "I’m really excited. I think the incoming freshmen next year, we have a lot of talent coming in and we have a lot of young talent on this team, for sure. Obviously, we’re going to greatly miss the seniors who are leaving. It’s going to be different, but I think we have a lot of potential for the coming years and I’m excited to see what will happen.”