Shorthanded Trojans exit early from region soccer tournament

PERRYVILLE — Maybe there is some consolation that Kent County was just the first of three Class 1A opponents that Perryville eliminated as it pursues a state championship in girls soccer.

There should be some consolation that KCHS showed up, traveling with just enough players to fill every position — against the top seed in the East Region I tournament, catching the bus at 8 a.m. for a 10 a.m. Saturday match on the same day as the school’s homecoming dance.

“That’s commitment,” said first-year head coach Kelly Anne Turner, who made a “big deal” about the 11 girls who made the trip Oct. 28. While handing out high marks to all the players, Turner singled out sophomore Mary Jane Joiner, who was credited with 26 saves as she continued to fill in as goalie; senior Grace Lindsay, who pivoted to center forward after suffering a broken finger in mid-season to end her net-minding career; and freshman forward Macie Cannan, who made her first-ever start.

It was a blowout, 8-0, with the host Panthers (12-3) building an insurmountable 5-0 lead at intermission.

Turner said her squad played a better second half.

Perryville heads into this week’s state semifinals on a four-match winning streak that includes playoff victories at home against Kent County; Bo Manor, 3-2; and Surrattsville, 7-0.

Meantime, the Trojans end their season at 1-12, with a blowout win of their own, 12-0, at Crisfield.

Not getting hung up on the win-loss record, Turner stressed the Trojans’ strong work ethic, willingness to be coached, positive attitude and steady improvement from match to match.

“I really enjoyed meeting the girls and working with them. I’m proud of them,” she said.

Turner said seniors Anna Bitter, Emily Blusk, Allie Fithian, Grace Lindsay and Yasmin Perez will especially be missed. Bitter, Blusk and Fithian, a first-year player, served as captains.

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