By Matt Palmer
So it must not be not very comforting for those around the county's soccer circuit to learn that she merely likes track - her love is for soccer. And the Atholton sophomore showed it Sept. 21 as she scored the game's only goal to take down River Hill, 1-0.
Although it was the first time River Hill had been beaten in the county since 2001, Atholton coach Stephanie Stoutenborough doesn't consider the win an upset.
"I have been telling people that we need to be considered as one of the top teams, but no one pays attention to me. This just proves it," she said.
Nicholson scored 25 minutes into the second half and the lead was protected by keeper Jocelyn Papciak, who had 20 saves, including "probably five really, really good ones," Stoutenborough said.
Atholton had not beaten River Hill since 1996, the year River Hill opened, so it was a sweet victory for the Raiders.
"It was so exciting," Nicholson said. "We knew that we had been building as a program, so it was nice to win that one. I think it shows that everyone's a contender in the county this season."
River Hill rebounded from the game with wins over Hammond, 6-0, and Urbana, the third-ranked team in the state, 2-0.
River Hill was to face Centennial Sept. 28 but the game was postponed to Sept. 30 because of rain.
"Last week was obviously frustrating for us," River Hill goalkeeper Kate Hudson said. "Teams are shooting for us and we're shooting for them."
River Hill coach Willie Ibarra likened the loss to the River Hill boys soccer team's loss to Hammond.
"It happens," he said. "It's part of the development process. Every game is a journey. It's a stop. We don't talk about the Atholton game anymore."
E-mail Matt Palmer at email@example.com.
Staff writer Karen Brelsford contributed to this story.