Battle Tested Patterson Mill Girls Soccer Aiming for Regional Championship

Patterson Mill's girls soccer team is one of eight teams left vying for the MPSSAA 1A state championship. It's been a remarkable playoff run for the Huskies, who've outscored their first three postseason opponents 20-0.

"We are playing good soccer, but know that it will continue to become more difficult to win games as we continue on," head coach Mike Parker said.

Patterson Mill are used to playing in difficult conditions. The Huskies lost 11 seniors from last year's team, meaning that despite having a solid core returning this Fall, the team has had to rely on a few players who were untested at the varsity level.

Patterson Mill also had a very tough schedule in 2015. The team played six teams during the regular season who participated in MPSSAA section finals late last week, all of which were in bigger classifications than 1A. Two of those teams, Fallston and Bel Air, are still in the playoffs.

The team's 7-9-1 overall record shows how difficult Patterson Mill's regular season was.

"Our record is no indication of how well we were playing and a regional final appearance was something we knew we could accomplish if we stayed focused and played as a team," said Parker. "We have a lot of talented players all over the field. We have defenders, midfielders and forwards all scoring goals this year and everyone plays defensive covering all over the field."

The team's opponent in the 1A East regional final is Snow Hill from Worcester County on the Eastern Shore. In addition to having a regional final to prepare for, the team will also have to consider their travel distance for the game. It's going to be a long trek for the Huskies, clocking in at around three hours, meaning the team is going to have to get their energy levels up quickly after being on a bus for an extended period of time.

When they get to Snow Hill, Patterson Mill can expect a tough game against an opponent who has won their two playoff games in different ways. Snow Hill won a high scoring overtime thriller against Mardela in the first round, 4-3. After that game, they won a low scoring contest against Cambridge-SD in the section final 1-0.

"Teams playing in a regional championship are there for a reason and I expect the game to be very competitive," said Parker. "I know that we will be ready for the challenge."

At this stage in the playoffs, it's normal for a team to start thinking about what it would be like to win a state title. To Parker, it would be a big moment for a program that hasn't always had the best luck in the postseason. During his eight years of coaching at Patterson Mill, the Huskies have exited the playoffs in a couple different heartbreaking fashions, including penalty kicks.

"It would mean a lot for the girls and the coaches. We've played a tough schedule this season and a state championship would validate the talented, determined and driven team that we have," said Parker. "To finally break through and win a state championship would mean the girls would finally get their apple pie."
November 9th, 2015By: Wick Eisenberg

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