During last week’s abbreviated contest between the Huntingtown High School and host Northern High girls soccer teams, the close proximity of the two squads was evident from the outset, and only the soggy terrain could prevent onlookers from witnessing a dramatic conclusion.
In recent years the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference league meeting and eventual 3A South Region tournament clash between the two squads was often viewed as the unofficial girls’ state title game.
In each of the past two years, Huntingtown has won the SMAC title, but the Patriots atoned in the postseason en route to consecutive 3A state titles.
Last Thursday afternoon’s game was halted following an injury to Northern senior midfielder Amber Harris with 18:30 remaining in a scoreless first half. The game was halted at that point due to field conditions, but the two teams could not have been more evenly matched.
Before departing prematurely for the evening, the respective senior standouts for both teams, Huntingtown’s Shawna Ganley and Northern’s Rachel Deresky, remained optimistic about a potential rematch.
“We had some really good chances early and then they had a few of their own,” said Ganley, who recently committed to the Air Force Academy where she intends to join the women’s soccer team as a walk-on. “The field was a little squishy during warmups, but I’m used to playing on soggy fields after it rains. I’m hoping they can figure out a date for the makeup.”
Deresky, who was recently selected to the High School All-American Game in St. Louis in May and then is heading to Vanderbilt University for soccer in the fall, also seemed eager to conclude last Thursday’s game this month and perhaps face the Hurricanes again in the SMAC Championship game on April 16.
“I was hoping that we would be able to finish today,” Deresky said. “They had some good chances early then we had some good chances the next 10 minutes. I thought it was only a matter of time until we got a goal. I hope we get to see them two more times. It’s always really good competition playing them.”
Huntingtown senior goalie Clara Drummond and senior forward Katy Przybocki have always looked forward to their meetings with Northern and now both will have to wait until Monday afternoon to conclude the first of two potential meetings with the Patriots.
“They’re definitely our biggest rival,” Drummond said. “It’s always a very intense game and even the 20 minutes we played [last Thursday] was two teams playing at a high level. When Shawna gets the ball you know she’s capable of helping us score then when Rachel gets the ball you have to be ready for her to shoot from anywhere because she’s really good.”
“We always look forward to playing them it’s just a shame we don’t have a turf field in the county where we can play them,” said Przybocki, who is headed to Hood College for lacrosse. “We’re hoping to finish that game. It’s great having fans there because it gives you an emotional lift once you’’re on the field.”
While the girls’ game was suspended midway through the first half and will be resumed on Monday, April 5, the boys soccer game scheduled to follow that evening was completely postponed until next Monday. Many of the boys players from both teams had gathered in the grandstands at Northern last Thursday awaiting their chance to take the field, an opportunity they will attain 11 days later.