Patuxent 1, Calvert 0
With one long, bending corner kick and one perfectly struck header, Patuxent wiped away the frustrations of a sloppy first half and ended a nearly decade-long drought as it beat Calvert, 1-0, Thursday night in Prince Frederick.
Midfielder Kayla Schrumpf's corner kick 15 minutes into the second half found teammate Katie Woodard standing unmarked near the far post, and she calmly headed the ball past Cavaliers freshman goalie Ember Smootz. It was the Panthers' first victory over Calvert since Patuxent opened in 1995.
"Every year we have to mope off the field" after losing to Calvert, said Panthers Coach Charlie Raphael. "It's a mental thing for them. It's hard for them to believe they can win against this team, so it's nice to get any kind of win."
The Panthers (1-0) controlled the game's opening minutes, attacking loose balls and frequently finding defenders streaking down the wings alone, but their attack was stifled by a Calvert back line that forced Patuxent into four offside calls in the first 16 minutes.
The Cavaliers (0-1) began playing with more confidence and had an opportunity to score late in the first half. Calvert forward Stephani Jones earned a free kick when she was taken down just outside the penalty area, but her free kick was struck right at Panthers goalie Kendra Edwards, who knocked the ball down.
Calvert stayed on the attack when the second half opened. Forward Lindsay Daly intercepted an errant pass from the Patuxent defense and slid the ball across the top of the box to Jones, whose shot rifled off the left post.
After that missed shot, the Panthers started to get into gear once again by controlling the game's tempo and adjusted from their early struggles. They pounced on every loose ball, and their aggressiveness resulted in corner kicks instead of offside calls. Patuxent earned seven corners in the second half, the second of which resulted in Woodard's goal.
"We got a little bit tired [at the end of the first half], but after halftime we got our energy back," Woodard said.
Seeing his team shake off a rough first half left Raphael encouraged.
"The fact that they actually in the second half pretty much dominated or, you know, put the pressure on, that's what I was glad to see," said the fourth-year coach. "Last year we did really well in the first half, then folded in the second half. We're growing, and that's good."
Calvert Coach Doug Jones was optimistic after his team's opening performance. Smootz was more than capable in goal, taking over for injured starter Michelle Buckmaster, who underwent abdominal surgery earlier in the week. Morgan O'Leary returned after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament twice and played most of the game.
"This is real good for the ladies," Jones said. "The captains turned this into a positive, not a negative. To take something like this and spin it, that says a lot about the ladies. They understand their weaknesses and they understand what they need to do, and I feel confident that they'll do it."
Patuxent scored by heading in a corner kick.Patuxent's Jeana Rozran and Calvert's Morgan O'Leary chase a loose ball in the second half.