UPPER MARLBORO – Perry Hall High School showed their relentless offensive attack to defeat Eleanor Roosevelt High School 10-0 in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) Girls Soccer State Semifinals on Nov. 10.
Three senior strikers, Ashlee Wilsynski, Kara Dietrich and Phoebe Canoles, scored nine of the team’s goals in the win for Perry Hall. The Gators (17-3) had an early lead after Wilsynski sprinted inside the penalty area and slid a low shot past a diving Stephanie Ijomor.
Despite allowing the first goal of the contest, Raiders Head Coach Bob Sowers said he believed his team would be able to bounce back from the deficit. Roosevelt arrived ready for the state semifinal match-up, making this their second consecutive state semifinals after defeating Parkdale 3-1 in the South Regional Finals on Nov. 6.
“We were pretty confidant on the way here, listening to music and getting into game-mood,” Ijomor said. “Once we got on the field, we played with our hearts, played soccer but it was not enough tonight.”
The Raiders were bombarded with 20 shots on-goal by Perry Hall. Twelve minutes before halftime, the Gators went on a scoring spree and scored four goals. First, Dietrich lifted the ball for 15-yard chip shot over the Roosevelt defense for her first goal of the match. Canoles would follow up with a thundering header off on a corner kick and a right-footed volley after a header pass by midfielder Annie Kim for two of her four total goals.
Perry Hall continued its assault in the second half, shooting the majority of their 20 shots on target after halftime. Canoles scored back-to-back goals in under a minute while Dietrich completed her hat-trick off a counterattacking play.
“It was good to know we were up but we could not take this team for granted,” Canoles said. “Anything can happen in a soccer game; we can score five in the first half and they can get five in the second half so we did not let up and played how we played in the first half all game long.”
The Lady Raiders (13-2) had their first shot on goal in the 55th minute but were unable to register one afterwards. The shining light for Roosevelt was Ijomor’s play in goal, making ten saves. The five-foot-10 junior made several miraculous saves to keep Perry Hall’s lead manageable.
“Stephanie has had a really good season and she was so composed with all that pressure on her,” Sowers said. “I think she played a really good game and made really nice saves.”
However, it was not enough to stop Perry Hall. Junior Paris Smith would connect with a sliding goal with eight minutes left to push the lead into the double-digits.
“It was a bit surreal the whole game,” Sowers said. “… I think if we are back here again, we are going to be a lot more intense but right now, I am shocked, the players are shocked and I think we needed to come out a little harder against an opponent like this one.”
For Roosevelt, while the loss was a shocking one, there are some positives that can be taken out of the game. With eight seniors graduating, it will be key for the younger players to use the experience as a motivating factor heading into next year, Sowers said.
“I think we just need a little more fire power and next year, we will come back and go to states,” Ijomor said.
The Gators will head to Loyola University to play in the MPSSAA state championship game on Nov. 15-17.