When most teams make the jump from the UCBAC’s Susquehanna Division to the Chesapeake Division, it is normally a struggle to stay afloat and not drop back into the “lower division” just a year later.

But the No. 7 Patterson Mill Huskies rewrote the book, Tuesday, using a 5-0 win over the Susquehanna Division Champ North East to become the first team in conference history to win both division on back-to-back years and claim an UCBAC championship.

“My goal coming into the season was to stay in the upper division, because I know all the teams in the upper division are strong,” Husky head coach Shannon Troyer explained.  “But halfway through [the season], I knew that we were capable of taking it.”

Three players did the scoring in Patterson Mill’s five-goal showcase, Tuesday night, with freshman Jaelyn Felts scoring once, and both sophomore Christina Claypool and junior Emil Keesling smacking two goals each into the back of the North East goal.

“They played really well and well as a team,” Troyer said of the Huskies (7-2, 4-1-1).  “We were definitely more intense in the second half to finish more, and really in the circle we were able to do that and get a lot of corners.”

The Huskies came out firing in the first half, watching Felts score her first goal in just over a minute, but the Indians (6-4, 6-0) picked up the pace and, with the help of four first-half saves by senior keeper Rachel Clewer, held Patterson Mill scoreless for the remainder of the half.

But that’s not to say that the Huskies didn’t try, ripping 13 shots on Clewer throughout the game, and finding the back of the net four more times in the second half to claim their first UCBAC title.

“It was really important,” Keesling said of the Huskies’ extra goals, “because we wanted to get the score up.  It just helped us out in the finish.”

Lauren WestNorth East’s shutout wasn’t without scoring opportunities, one of which was a two-on-one for by the Indians’ senior Natalie Loux and junior Brooke Franklin late in the first half, but it was broken up by a textbook stop from Husky junior Lauren West to maintain the shutout.

“Today was a culmination of things,” Indian head coach Margaret McGough said.  “We prepared so long the entire season and to come out like we did, and putting together everything we practiced was awesome.  The first half clearly showed what we are about, and I think we just lost it a little bit in the second [half].”

The Indians went a perfect 6-0 in divisional play while taking the Susquehanna crown, and the hard work and dedication North East put in this season has blown away McGough.

“I can’t even express to you what it feels like,” McGough said of the team’s success.  “It is just amazing.  At the end of the day, we have put in so much work over the last four years, so it feels good for all those seniors.”

North East may be in uncharted waters with their recent divisional title, but the team has been in the playoffs before.  Just last year they qualified for the 2A North Regional Pool, but lost in the first round to Bel Air, 3-2.

“We have to practice what we were working on tonight,” McGough said for 2010 post-season success.  “Watching a little bit of film and seeing things that we need to adjust.

“It is really just small play; small, little, tactical things that if we can just connect, it will all work out.”

The conference championship has been a long time coming for the five seniors on the Patterson Mill roster, which was explained by senior goalkeeper Gabby Brooks.

“We have wanted to do it since I was a freshman,” explained Brooks, who made three saves in the shutout win, “and to finally get it done for our school feels great.”

Gabby BrooksPatterson Mill is hoping to keep building to the foundation that has already been laid, looking to not just win the region again, but see the squad battling for a state championship.

“The goals from here on out are that we really want to take the region again,” Troyer said.  “We really, really want to take the region again.  

“But we do have a goal to make it to the state finals, and finish this year and be on top.  We are focused as a team, so I think we can do it.”

The Huskies came just short of the 2009 state championship game, losing to Pocomoke in the state semifinals, 2-0, but the team’s progression this year has left Toryer with even higher hopes.

“It is phenomenal, and it shows the commitment of our team,” Troyer said of her team’s success.  “Every individual on the team is really committed year-round to improving, and you come into the fall and everybody has just gotten better.  They are just driven.

“Every year we get a little bit closer, so maybe this year we can even push them a little further and come out on top.”

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Patterson Mill 5, North East 0
Patterson Mill
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North East
PM-Claypool (2), Keesling (2), Felts
PM-Brooks 3, Clewer 8
PM-13; NE-4.