Parkside 6 — Queen Anne’s 2

STEVENSVILLE — Mike Kern always thought Parkside High graduate Blair Vilov was an outstanding soccer player.

After watching her younger sister Leah Vilov score four goals against his team on consecutive Mondays, Queen Anne’s County High’s longtime girls’ head soccer coach has a pretty high opinion of her.

Leah Vilov scored four second-half goals — two in the final 3 minutes, 32 seconds — Monday, as the Rams pulled away for a 6-2 victory over Queen Anne’s at Kent Island High’s Andy Schipul Stadium for its 11th Bayside Conference championship.

“You know what’s funny, the last three years I always thought her sister was a really good player,” Kern said of Blair Vilov, who now plays for Old Dominion (Va.) University. “And I remember her sister really well, and I never thought she (Leah) was as good as her sister. Until this year. She’s put it to us. The last game (Oct. 14) she put four (in) against us. She’s a heckuva player.”

The title was the Rams’ first since 2015.

After losing 6-1 to Parkside a week earlier, the Lions (11-2) were tied 1-1 with the Rams (12-1) at halftime last night. Vilov broke that tie in the seventh minute of the second half. Lions keeper Olivia Slack — in goal for the ailing Bre Athey — raced off her line in a bid to collect a roller coming down to her right. But Vilov arrived at the ball first, touched it past Slack, then drove it into the right corner for a 2-1 Rams lead.

Vilov had a chance to extend the lead four minutes later, but Slack held her ground and denied the Rams’ senior standout. Almost eight minutes later, Parkside’s Cat Smith struck a hard drive from right wing that went wide. But Vilov gathered the loose ball and quickly tucked it into the net for a 3-1 lead with 21:50 left.

Queen Anne’s was back within one just 1:11 later though, as Abby Blanchard knocked one past Rams keeper Megan Polinik.

“We knew coming in they were probably going to change some things up, either formation-wise or just overall how they played, and they did,” Parkside head coach Chris O’Barsky said of Queen Anne’s. “They came out strong. They got that goal early on us. It really took us the last 15 minutes of the second half to really just step it up and really start making an impact.

“Again, the score does not tell how tough a team they are,” O’Barsky continued. “They’re tough. They’ve got some really tough players. And it really could have gone either way for three-quarters of the game.”

Vilov hit another big shot from about 25 yards out with just under 10 minutes remaining that Slack stopped it, momentarily lost control of the rebound, then smothered it in front of an approaching Ram. Parkside continued pressuring. Smith fired wide right off a corner with less than five minutes left before Davis sent a shot off the football crossbar.

Then with 3:32 remaining, Vilov hit a ball that dipped suddenly and skipped past Slack, giving Parkside a 4-2 lead and igniting three-goal closing surge.

“She’s got a hell of a foot on her,” O’Barsky said of Vilov. “And she’s just an all-around great player. I think a lot of times she catches goalies off (guard) as she takes shots from places they probably don’t think she’s going to take a shot from. And she’s scored a lot of goals doing that this year.

“She’s very accurate,” O’Barsky added. “She can almost put it wherever she wants to put it. And in some cases she can put some crazy English on the ball like she did that one goal. I mean the ball just took a knuckle dive right before it got to the keeper and skipped off the ground. And I think that just really threw her (Slack) off.”

Haley Urban juked a defender and scored with 1:15 remaining before Vilov netted her fourth goal with 38 seconds left.

“We responded right back; it was 3-2,” Kern said. “I’m happy with our performance besides the last 10 minutes. Like I said, you lose by one, you lose by four, it doesn’t really matter. You still lost. We gave it a right good effort, and I’m proud of the girls.

“We can’t try to beat her,” Kern said of Vilov. “We’ve just got to do a better job protecting the ball and keeping it away from her. She’s too good of a player. We learned a lot. I thought we played much better than we did the first time we played against them except for those last 10 minutes.”

Queen Anne’s took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute, when Kassidy Robinson drilled a shot from about 15 yards out into the upper right corner.

Davis pulled Parkside even at 1-all with 1:54 left in the half, when she controlled a ball on left wing and arched a shot just over a leaping Slack that settled into the right corner.

“Again, hat’s off to Queen Anne’s,” O’Barsky said. “They always come out tough. And tonight was no exception.”

The No. 2 seed in the Class 2A East Section II playoffs, Queen Anne’s will host No. 3 Kent Island (10-2) on Friday in a semifinal. Top-seeded Parkside hosts the winner of Wednesday’s No. 4 North Caroline (7-5) and No. 5 Wicomico (0-12) semifinal.

HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

Kent Island 3, Parkside 0

SALISBURY — The Buccaneers won via game scored of 25-17, 25-18 and 25-19.

Lily Golembieski notched four aces and 10 kills, Emma DiPhilippo added six kills and seven blocks, and Kennedy Warren chipped in two aces and 23 assists.

Follow me on Twitter @Bill_Haufe. Email me at bhaufe@stardem.com

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