It was another day at the office for the defending Class 1A state champs and No. 17 Loch Raven Tuesday, dominating Carver A&T in a 6-0 victory for the 1A South Region championship in Towson.
The Raiders (11-5 overall) scored four goals in a 10-minute span in the first half to put away the Wildcats. Senior forward Erin Kelly had a career-high three goals.
“In the beginning we were a little shaky and we just wanted to win,” said Kelly.” Then we just calmed down and we just remembered to keep our heads focused and play our game.”
Loch Raven controlled Carver with heavy offensive pressure, and lengthy possessions down on the Wildcats end of the field. The first goal for the Raiders came with under 25 minutes in the first half as sophomore Allison Farrell ignited the scoring surge.
Kelly headed a shot in past Carver goalie Catena Badolato, which was assisted by Jessica Carpenter. Loch Raven punched two more, one on a penalty shot from Kara Kleinhammar and another from Carpenter, which put the Raiders in cruise control going into halftime.
Kelly, who missed her entire junior year due to a knee injury, put the game away with two magnificent goals late in the second half. The Raiders senior said afterward she’s glad to have a chance to play.
“It is hard for me, I have played my entire high school career, but last year I had knee surgery and couldn’t play, so I was the manager,” Kelly said. “It was really hard for me to get back into the swing of things, but I’m really excited (to be here) and we make it to states.”
Raiders coach Anthony Menegatti applauded Kelly’s performance.
“[Erin Kelly has one of the better shots on the team,” said Menegatti. “She always seems to put herself in the right places. Erin is a very smart player.”
The Raiders will play either Oakdale and Manchester Valley in a state semifinal this week. Loch Raven will be a tough out, especially the way the Raiders control the pace on their opponents. Menegatti eluded to his team being a team which prides itself on “heavy pressure type soccer.”
“We really need to keep the pressure up, it is the key to win championships.”
Despite the loss, Carver coach Jason Sherfey was proud of his team. It was the first time the Wildcats reached a regional title game.
“These girls worked hard, they deserved that they got this far, probably farther then most people gave them credit for or even a chance to do,” said Sherfey. “And they proved everyone wrong game after game and we ran up against a tough Loch Raven team. Loch Raven is a phenomenal team.”