GREENBELT – A match-up between two of the best girls soccer sides in the 4A region, Parkdale and Eleanor Roosevelt, will have to wait an little longer to be concluded.
Thunderstorms surrounded the Greenbelt area during their match on Oct. 11, forcing school officials to suspend the game nine minutes before halftime. The rematch of last year’s regional final will resume on Oct. 18. Originally scheduled to take place at Parkdale, both programs agreed to move the game to Roosevelt’s turf pitch as heavy morning rain showers made the grass field unplayable.
Lightning strikes were visible around the 20th minute but the referees continued play. As rain showers began falling periodically, thunder continued to flash around the school, forcing school officials to stop the game in the 31st minute due to the lightning. After an hour of delays, it was determined that the match would continue in one week.
The Lady Raiders (6-1) were almost up a goal in the opening minute but senior midfielder Corina Miko’s strike was slapped away by Parkdale’s Yassine Kamara and bounced off the post before rolling out of bounce. Roosevelt continued testing Kamara and the Parkdale defense with aggressive counterattacks with Miko and junior Zosia Nicholson leading the charge.
“We have been working on a lot of through balls passed defenders (all season) and it has paid off,” Miko said. “But we need to work on communication and getting back on defense more.”
However, the junior goalkeeper made two key saves while Parkdale made key interceptions in midfield. Roosevelt Head Coach Bob Sowers said adjustments will need to be completed in order to establish more ball control against their Riverdale foes.
“I felt we were a little lethargic and I thought as the game goes on that we would pick up a little more but Parkdale had more possession in midfield that was bothering me,” Sowers said. “I was hoping we would shut them down more and possess the ball more because we take pride in possession so I was a little disappointed with what has gone so far.”
The Lady Panthers (6-1) started the game without one of their main offensive weapons in senior Madelin Mejia while junior Sharrah Rondina was removed with an injury before the 15th minute.
As the senior entered the match along with freshman Melissa Villatoro, Parkdale’s offense rebounded. The pair attacked the Lady Raiders defense, who was missing their two starting centerbacks, Zion Albright and Louisa Ellison, and started freshman Bella Martins in goal.
“We were not playing bad but once she (Mejia) came in, we created more plays to go with offensively so we were attacking way more when she came in,” Junior defender Keylin Amaya said.
Despite the renewed offensive effort, Parkdale was unable to generate a shot on target and were caught offside five times. Moving to the second portion of the match on Oct. 18, Head Coach Rebecca Bethea said that she hopes the Lady Panthers can continue brining the same intensity but become more methodical with their attacks in order to defeat their Greenbelt rivals.
“So far, it has been an evenly match game; overall, there has been a lot of excitement that has been created up to this point,” Bethea said. “… The girls really wanted to finish off the game today but they will get their chance on another day.”