Tuscarora Soccer

Tuscarora’s Madison Slater scores the match’s first goal by shooting past Linganore defender Victoria Garofolo during the first half at Tuscarora Thursday night.

For as many goals as the Tuscarora girls soccer team has scored this season — 57 and counting through 14 games — they haven’t been scored very early.

That’s what made sophomore midfielder Madison Slater’s goal so noteworthy Thursday night.

In addition to getting a favorable bounce off the post from about 20 yards away, it was the first goal the Titans had scored all season inside of the game’s first 10 minutes. They had 48 seconds to spare.

“It’s been forever for us to do that,” Tuscarora coach Troy Bowers said of getting the early goal. “We talked about that yesterday at practice. [The players] said, ‘We’ve got to score early.’ I said, ‘Girls, you say that every game, and we never do.’

“Then, [senior defender Jasmine Sims] said, ‘Coach, it’s a great idea.’ Then, I said, ‘It sure is. Maybe we can do it.’”

The early goal paved the way for Tuscarora to settle into its normal rhythm and earn a 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten Linganore, thus securing a trip to the Central Maryland Conference Championship game.

In a rematch of the county championship game from the spring season, Tuscarora (13-0-1) will take on Brunswick at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Utica District Park. The Titans won the earlier championship game 4-1 on April 15, with Slater scoring two of the goals as part of her strong freshman season.

“I challenged Madison a bit before [Thursday’s] game during warmups because I really thought I could get her to be more explosive in this game,” Bowers said. “I even said to her, ‘You haven’t had a stat in a couple of games. That’s very unlike her. She’s been putting stats up consistently.

“So, I challenged her over there, and that’s why I was so happy when she put that first ball in.”

Tuscarora knew a fast start was important against Linganore because the Lancers (11-1) have been a second-half team all season.

“Honestly, that’s where they beat us,” Linganore coach Paige Pohopin said of Tuscarora’s fast start. “They knew to come out early. They knew to come out in the first half. That’s how they were going to capitalize on us because we have been a second-half team all season long.”

True to their nature, the Lancers played with far more energy and emotion in the second half and generated a fantastic scoring opportunity in the first four minutes.

But Tuscarora goalie Mia Hill was up to the tall task, denying Linganore senior midfielder Catherine Bowers on a point-blank shot just a few feet in front of the goal.

“It was just one of those things,” Hill said of her quick-reaction save. “Luckily, I was able to get my hands on it.”

Tuscarora added an insurance goal in the final six minutes, as senior midfielder Cali Cammarata sent a corner kick into the box that sophomore midfielder Ella Sheridan was able to get her foot on and put it in the back of the net.

The Titans had to win Thursday’s game. A tie would have sent Linganore to the CMC title game since the Lancers had beaten Oakdale in overtime earlier this season. Tuscarora, meanwhile, played Oakdale to a scoreless draw on Tuesday night.

“I think we deserve it, honestly,” Hill said of her team’s CMC title game appearance. “We have been working hard all season. Yeah, we have bigger plans. But we are going to take it step by step, and we’ll see where we go from there.”

Follow Greg Swatek on Twitter: @greg_swatek

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!