Girls' Soccer Roundup
Tuscarora tops Huntingtown, 2-0, to advance to the state final
When she was a 10-year-old fan, Tuscarora freshman forward Aaran Parry said she was inspired by watching the Titans win a state title in 2005.
"I remember when they scored their last goal I was like, 'I want to go out there and be just like that,' " Parry said.
On Saturday afternoon, the 14-year-old Parry gave herself and her team a chance to fulfill that wish. Extending her school record with her 22nd goal of the season and assisting on another, Parry sparked Tuscarora to a 2-0 victory over Huntingtown in a Maryland 3A semifinal at the Community College of Baltimore County-Essex.
Parry opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a free kick from 20 yards that found its way through the box and into the far corner of the net. Then she played a smart through-ball to set up Michelle Rock's goal with less than 16 minutes remaining to send the Titans (14-3-1) back to the state final for the first time since that win in 2005.
"Like we've been saying just take it as another game, and I just don't think of it as pressure," Parry said. "I kind of just come out, breathe and go out and try my best. Our team is just like, 'Try your best and leave it on the field.' That's all they ask for."
Tuscarora controlled much of the contest but nearly found itself tied late in the game. The Hurricanes (13-3-2) appeared to equalize with 22 minutes left, but the linesman ruled the ball had rolled over the end line before junior forward Rebecca Gibson crossed it, and Rock doubled the lead eight minutes later to provide extra cushion for the Titans.
Gators set up rematch
When Reservoir's season opened with a one-goal win over Tuscarora, Gators forward Stephanie Zaycer never got on the field. As the year played out, however, Zaycer earned more playing time, and by the start of the playoffs had worked her way into the starting lineup.
On Saturday afternoon in the Maryland 3A state semifinals, the senior showed she deserved her place in the first 11, assisting on the game-winning goal and adding an insurance score in Reservoir's 2-0 win over Hereford (14-3-1).
The win sets up a rematch with Tuscarora in the 3A state title game -- and this time Zaycer figures to be on the field.
"I think the last six or seven games, she has been unbelievable," Reservoir Coach Josh Sullivan said. "She's just a workhorse, she just absolutely comes to the ball, understands what it means to really defend as a striker, too."
After several near misses throughout the game, the Gators (16-3-1) finally broke through in the 53rd minute when Zaycer got to a ball just before it rolled over the end line and crossed to Payton Bouie, who finished from the top of the box. Zaycer added another goal in the 67th minute on a header at the back post to seal the win.
The first goal "let off so much pressure," Zaycer said. "I even said to one of my players, 'I'm good with that.' "