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  • Ashley Chew's second-half goal was the decisive score in a 1-0 Chesapeake victory over Northeast. The win pushed the Cougars into the 3A East Section II final on Thursday against J.M. Bennett.
    Photo by Andrew Candella
    Ashley Chew's second-half goal was the decisive score in a 1-0 Chesapeake victory over Northeast. The win pushed the Cougars into the 3A East Section II final on Thursday against J.M. Bennett.

Chesapeake Girls March Past Northeast, Into 3A East Section II Final

Dave Topp
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October 31, 2017

Chesapeake’s Ashley Chew wanted to make the most of her new opportunity. Entering Tuesday afternoon’s Maryland 3A section semifinal playoff game against visiting crosstown rival Northeast High School, the stakes couldn’t be much higher.

After 70-plus minutes of scoreless soccer, Chew, a newly appointed started, lifted the Cougars into the next round of the playoffs with game’s lone goal.

“In that moment, I was just thinking what my coach taught me, all my players told me, ‘Just hit it lightly’,” said Chew.

The Cougars sent countless chances toward Northeast goalie Samantha Baysic throughout the game as Chew and fellow attackers Haley Downin and Brooke Hurst fired shot after shot despite struggling to finish.

“We told them at halftime, ‘This is going to come down to one goal,” said Chesapeake coach Kevin Keeter, whose team defeated Northeast 1-0 during the regular season.

The visiting Eagles were not without chances themselves. Sophomore Allyson Wills managed to slip behind the Chesapeake defense a few times, often causing a scare to the hosts.

“It’s one of those games where you’re dominating the entire game and they get that one lucky chance and it ends up going. We just didn’t want that to happen,” said Chesapeake defender and captain Madison Wheeler. “We stuck together as a team and we played our hearts out.”

Having survived a pair of solid scoring opportunities by the Eagles midway through the second half, Chesapeake began firing shots back at the Northeast goal. Midfielders Leia Black and Camryn Gerben connected with the strikers to help push the second-half attack.

“The way the score was going to happen, [it would be] one breakdown either way,” said Northeast coach Scott Langlois. “A lot of hard play out there. A lot of good play. Both teams are really good. They gave everything they have. The goalies played phenomenal. It just comes down to one mistake turns into one goal.”

These same two teams have met in the playoffs the previous two seasons, splitting the results, as Northeast knocked out Cougars 1-0 in 2015, and Chesapeake returned the favor last year with a 2-1 win.

“Every time we play them, it’s a rivalry,” Keeter said.

With a little over nine minutes to play, Chew took a pass from Hurst to the edge of the 6-yard box. Her initial shot was blocked by Baysic, but the rebound came back to her, and she didn’t miss twice.

“I tried to make the best of this opportunity that I can,” Chew said. “One of those had to go in.”

Chesapeake will move on to face J.M. Bennett on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Due to Bennett not having lights at their field, the match has been rescheduled from Friday’s original date.

The two teams squared off in playoffs last season, with Chesapeake winning 6-0. They met again during this year’s preseason, and again the Cougars were triumphant with a 3-0 victory.

“We are so ready,” said Wheeler. “We’re going to put them in the ground.”

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