River Ridge opens season with shutout of Springstead

Published October 31, 2006

NEW PORT RICHEY - Before his team's season opener against Springstead, River Ridge coach Skip Glover reminded his team that, as defending Class 5A, District 7 champions, the Royal Knights "are on top of the hill."

Evidently, they enjoy the view.

After a sluggish first half, the Royal Knights (1-0) scored three second-half goals - all by junior forward Deana Rossi - to earn a 3-0 victory.

"Actually, we were really, really nervous in the first half," said Rossi, who led the Royal Knights with 27 goals and 69 points last season. "But we calmed down and started playing together as a team."

That team chemistry culminated in the 46th minute, when freshman Mikaela Morolla sent a crisp pass to Rossi, who took one step, did a quick spin move, and sent a one-timer past Eagles keeper Jennifer DeFrancesco.

"They played a little better in the second half," said Glover. "They played a little more like I think they expect they should play."

Rossi's second goal came in the 59th minute via penalty kick. She added her third in the 63rd minute, when she took a feed from junior Emily Condry, out-raced two Springstead (0-1) defenders, and sent a crossing shot into the right corner.

"They just outplayed us," Eagles coach Polo Furlong said. "They're a good team, and they just played better than us."

River Ridge keeper Brittany Hahn made eight saves to earn the shutout.