Loss Gave Fisher's Motivation To Win Soccer Crown

HITS AND MISSES

Under-19 Girls Capture Two Playoff Games

May 22, 1991|By Mike Northrup

It's unusual when a loss gives a team the confidence to win.

But Ron Marsiglia, the proud coach of Eldersburg Fisher Crown, this year's Baltimore Beltway Soccer League's under-19 girls divisional champ, says that's exactly what happened.

Fisher's, consisting primarily of high school juniors and seniorsfrom the South Carroll area, clinched things Saturday afternoon by sweeping two playoff games at Sacred Heart Church near Reisterstown.

Fisher's topped Harford United, 4-2, in the semifinal game, then edged the Greater Baltimore Soccer Club Dynamos, 2-1, in the finale.

Fisher's only two losses in its 7-2 regular season had come against those two opponents, although it split with Harford.

But the regular-season loss to highly regarded Baltimore may have been the key game of the season.

"We were losing, 3-0, to Baltimore in the first half, but outscored them, 1-0, in the second. We realized then we could play with them," Marsiglia recounted.

The locals were playing their first season in the Beltway League after three consecutive Frederick County girls spring loop soccer championships.

Fisher's had completely dominated the opposition there

and had left the league toseek new challenges.

"The Baltimore Beltway League is stronger, that's why we wanted to go into it," Marsiglia said.

Despite the tougher competition, "I thought we had an outside chance of winning it," he added.

He said his biggest job was to mold the hand-picked players, representing varsity soccer teams from Liberty, South Carroll,Westminster and Franklin high schools -- into a cohesive unit.

This was particularly difficult because many of the girls also participate in lacrosse, track, softball or other spring sports at school.

He said the spring sports schedule, along with work, and, more recently, proms, combined to savage his roster.

"Many times we had only10 or 11 players and couldn't sub. That made it difficult," Marsiglia said.

But the girls made it to games whenever they could, an effort Marsiglia, an Eldersburg resident coaching the team for the firsttime, appreciated greatly.

"We picked the right kids. They all gave you 150 per cent," Marsiglia said.

Saturday, that dedication paid off with two front-running wins.

In the opener, Debra Price scored three goals and Michelle Palgutta one, to push Fisher's into a commanding 4-0 lead before Harford scored twice in the last five minutes to make the score respectable.

Then came Greater Baltimore, which hadn't lost this year.

Early in the game, Kristen Medvetz launched a corner kick to the front of the Baltimore goal, and Price headedit in to put Fisher's ahead, 1-0.

Later in the first half, Palgutta booted home a rebound to make it 2-0.

"Getting the lead put a lot of pressure on them. Greater Baltimore was really pressing and gotout of some of their teamwork. I could see their kids trying to do too much themselves," Marsiglia noted.

Baltimore was unable to score until only seconds remained in the game.

The Fisher's coach noted that

most of his girls are eligible to return next spring, and said he hopes to achieve another banner season.

And as for 1991?

"It was a fantastic year," he said.

Rich Lawson can say the same thing, which is particularly nice since it's his last hurrah as a reccoach.

Lawson coached IFC, an Eldersburg-based team that recentlyclinched the Baltimore Beltway League's under-16 boys Division II championship.

The clincher, a 5-0 blanking of the Harford Hawks two weekends ago, gave IFC a 7-0 mark with one makeup game remaining.

Unlike Fisher's, a team which is hand-picked and has a tradition of winning, IFC just sort of happened.

Lawson said the players pretty much formed the team on their own this year, inviting various friendsto play.

IFC, he says, stands for Invitational Soccer Club.

Lawson said he knew his team could score, but wasn't sure if it could stop the opposition.

"I thought our defense would be weak, and defense is the name of the game in soccer," he said.

But a mid-season 3-1 win over Perry Hall, a strong league team, changed his outlook.

Overall, his supposedly leaky backline corps allowed only two goalsin the team's seven games.

Lawson credited goalkeeper Chad Blubaugh who "made some unbelievable saves," and Anthony Omelio who headed a strong midfield corps, as keys to the strong defense.

Versatile midfielder-sweeper Sam De Lawrence also helped.

And forwards Eric Tupis and Mike Symanski handled much of the scoring load.

The teamwill play two tournaments in June.

Lawson then will retire from rec soccer coaching to take some college courses.

"It's been an enjoyable 10 years. I want to leave it that way," Lawson said. "It's going to be tough to leave this team, but I'm going to."

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