The Lady Raiders have barely missed a beat so far with a 9-3 overall record and 7-0 mark in Region 7AAAAA after a 5-0 win over Sprayberry Thursday.
Riverwood is in position to earn a region title as well as a state berth, with the Lady Raiders tied for first in 7AAAAA with Northview.
Since losing two of its first three games, Riverwood has been on a roll with eight wins in its last nine.
The Lady Raiders have maintained their usual high level of play, despite losing seven players — five seniors and two transfers — from last year’s squad that went 10-9 and lost in the first round of the AAA playoffs to eventual runner-up Columbus.
“It was a little slow starting with the first couple of games, but some things just started to click,” Riverwood coach Donald Macoy said. “We lost a good group of seniors and two transfers from last year’s team, so we had a lot of holes to fill. But a lot of players stepped up and played really well.”
Macoy said his team was prepared for the higher level of play it has faced in AAAAA.
“Over the last couple of years, we played a pretty tough schedule,” Macoy said. “We knew the region was going to be better top to bottom. We were in a tough region before [in AAA], but it wasn’t as deep [as 7AAAAA]. The concern was doing it consistently and the girls have really gotten themselves in a good mindset getting ready for the season, knowing every game was going to be a battle. They were ready to step up and play hard.”
Senior forward Alexis deGroot leads the team in scoring with eight goals and five assists, while fellow senior forward Callie Bergin had six goals and seven assists as of Thursday.
Senior Erin Woodruff and sophomore Emma McCabe lead the way in the midfield, while seniors Katy Koser and Hannahkohl Almire, junior Madeline Morse and freshman Emma McCaskill are the top defenders.
Senior Jamie Heidt and freshman Alex Plavin have combined for seven shutouts at goalkeeper as of Thursday.
The 7AAAAA title will be on the line when Riverwood plays at co-region leader Northview Tuesday.
“It’s nice at this point that we’re in control of our destiny,” Macoy said. “We need to take care of a few more [games] to lock it in. It’s definitely something the girls are very aware of at this point. They’re excited about making it one more year [in the state playoffs]. We’re looking forward to setting up a battle with Northview for the top spot in the region.”