When Edgewood's field hockey team won its first game six weeks ago, Coach Renda Respess wasn't sure the Rams could keep playing well enough to win consistently in the Harford County league.
But Wednesday, the Rams finished off their league season with a winning record, 4-3 -- quite an accomplishment for a team that was 1-11 overall each ofthe past two years.
The Rams (5-6 overall) needed a goal in the final 25 seconds of Wednesday's game against Aberdeen to post their winning league record.Jackie Kinsey fed Shelly Marzicola on the fast break for the game winner.
"Their attitude is the thing," Respess said. "They go into agame with confidence. They feel like they're going to win and that'sa big difference. I don't know if we could have won a game like thislast year."
Deadlocked, 2-2, against Aberdeen (3-7, 1-5) with time running
out, the Rams were thinking about overtime when they gotone final chance to score.
With less than a minute to go, the Rams stopped an Aberdeen drive and sent the ball rolling on offense.
Kinsey carried the ball down the right wing while Marzicola broke into the scoring circle. Kinsey stepped in to the circle and fired. Her attempt rolled a few feet in front of the goal, where Marzicola tapped it past Aberdeen's first-year goalie Donna Hernandez.
"We knew this was our last chance to do something with our season," Kinsey said. "We've worked really hard, and this win was really important. We feel like we've really achieved something."
The Rams will find out today whether they have accomplished even more. The win could help them clinch a berth in the Class 2A regional playoffs. Those pairings will be determined today.
Even if the Rams don't reach the playoffs,their final league win was reason to celebrate. They played catch-upmost of the game. And luck appeared to be on Aberdeen's side when the Rams had two goals called back because they went into the cage dangerously high off the ground.
Although they outshot the Eagles, 10-6, in the first half, Edgewood trailed, 1-0, at halftime. Jen Reynolds scored after a scuffle in front of the goal midway through the half.
Both teams moved the ball up field well. Aberdeen had strong midfield play from Betty Peterson, Kyla Rohrs and Belinda Petry. Edgewood had solid performances from Lisa Wilcox and Kelly Rider.
While Edgewood had four corners, the Rams couldn't keep the ball off their feet in the circle.
They tied the game with 19 minutes, 45 seconds left in the second half. After Marzicola's shot hit the pipe, Jenni Blubaugh scored off the carom.
But Aberdeen came right back. On thebreak, Reynolds drew Rams goalie Becky Hoover out of the cage and fed Pauline Sawyer for the open shot.
Nine minutes later, Edgewood tied the game on a textbook corner play. Marzicola passed to Lisa Fotia at the top of the circle and Fotia blasted a shot through the defense and past Hernandez (nine saves).
Aberdeen had a chance to pull ahead with 7:05 left when Hoover covered the ball, and officials awarded the Eagles a penalty stroke. Petry took the shot, but it sailed wide of the cage.