H-town girls soccer downs North Point, claims Bel Air tourney
By AJ MASON
Erin Shamleffer was only a freshman last season for defending Class 3A state champion Huntingtown girls soccer team.
Hurricanes head coach Jill Twetten knew from playing behind key seniors a year ago that Shamleffer would be ready this season.
“I knew that when our seniors graduated that she [Erin] would step right in ,” Twetten said. “She has so much speed and ball skills. She’s everywhere in the midfield and without her we’re a different team.”
Thursday evening, Shamleffer delivered in the first half with assist then a goal in Huntingtown’s 3-0 victory over visiting North Point in the first of a varsity boys, girls doubleheader. The Hurricanes downed the Eagles in the boys matchup, 2-0.
“We lost a lot of seniors, but we brought back some experience and have young talent that can make a major impact for us,” Shamleffer said. “We work well together and everyone is on the same page.”
Huntingtown (5-0, 3-0 SMAC) also won the championship at the Bel Air tournament in Harford County, earning victories of 4-0 over Perry Hall of Baltimore County and 2-1 over Bel Air.
“This was a huge win for us,” Twetten said after the North Point win. “A lot of the girls on the team have played with players from North Point on select teams, so it was fun, very competitive.” Twetten said.
The Hurricanes have only allowed just one goal thus far this season.
“Our team is deep and we are very technical,” Twetten said. “We are fast and today we just utilized our speed and controlled possession.”
North Point (2-2, 2-2) struggled on the defensive end and did not have many scoring opportunities because of that Hurricanes possession.
“Defensively, we couldn’t get tight to our marks,” North Point head coach Doug DeCook said. “We got down 2-0 at halftime and we were playing catch up. Huntingtown is very disciplined and they don’t make many mistakes. Every game in SMAC means that you have to come to play, we need to stay more level and play with more consistency.”
With 13 minutes 58 seconds left in the first half, Shamleffer gathered the ball on a turn, passed it up to junior midfielder Tori Bellucci, got the ball back and then assisted a pass to freshman Sarah Osborne, who put it in the back of the net.
“That was a really nice assist from Erin and that goal really boosted my confidence,” said Osborne, who had two goals in the Bel Air tournament and leads the team in goals this season with seven. “At the beginning, we were really excited, but we calmed down. This win was pretty big for us, we want to keep it going.”
Just before halftime, Shamleffer found the net on a rebound from a Bellucci kick that bounced off North Point senior Lindsay Greene’s hands. Greene finished with nine saves as the Eagles goalkeeper.
“When Tori got through the slot, I took advantage on the rebound,” said Shamleffer, who had a goal versus Perry Hall and an assist versus Bel Air. “We’ve had a good week and coming off this win we have a lot of momentum.”
Midway through the second half, Huntingtown capped off the scoring when Bellucci, who added a goal and assist in the Bel Air tournament, got loose in the open field and dished it off to junior forward Kaitlin Hudson. Hudson had collected a goal and an assist in the weekend tournament.
“Tori is our leader and our captain, she makes a lot of things happen for us in the midfield,” Twetten said.
Huntingtown will host Chopticon at 6 p.m. Thursday for its next contest, while North Point travels to La Plata for its next contest at 6 p.m. Friday.
“We just have to learn how to finish when we do get chances,” DeCook said. “We just ran into a really good team, but we have a long season.”
Huntingtown junior goalie Emily Chapman had five saves in the shutout over North Point.
In Saturday’s wins, Chapman recorded had 10 saves versus Perry Hall and 14 saves in the Bel Air contest.
Versus Perry Hall, Summer Colmus got into the scoring column, while Amanda Johnson and Emily Palensky added an assist each.
Huntingtown 3, North Point 0
North Point 0 0
Huntingtown 2 1
Goals: Huntingtown (Osborne, Shamleffer, Hudson)
Saves: North Point (Greene 9); Huntingtown (Chapman 5)