H. Christian: No league, no playoffs

November 01, 1992|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

Harford Christian's field hockey team just finished a season that should get any team into postseason play.

But for the Eagles, who have no league affiliation, there are no playoffs.

"It's disappointing," said senior halfback Christy Shepherd. "This was our best season, and since we're seniors and we won't get to play together again, we would like to have been able to go on to playoffs."

Said senior forward Rachel Evans, who went to the state field hockey playoffs as a sophomore at North East High in Cecil County, "We're just missing out on a lot of excitement."

Instead, the Eagles (8-3-3) packed plenty of excitement into their final week of play.

They started Oct. 21 by pulling an overtime upset against long-time nemesis Perryville of Cecil County. Evans scored the game-winner off a penalty corner in the seven-on-seven overtime.

The Eagles came from behind in the closing minutes of regulation to tie. Perryville scored late in the first half, but the Eagles tied it on Jettie Moir's goal with three minutes left in regulation.

Two days after that win, the Eagles closed the season with a 3-1 victory over West Nottingham. Evans, Shepherd and Jen Chatham scored the goals.

The Eagles finished their season with four straight wins to post their best record in at least 10 years. At the beginning of the season, coach Cathleen Reese had predicted a .500 season, but experience sparked the winning record.

"We finally had the seniors," said the eighth-year coach. "The past few years, we were always struggling, but with five seniors, we got much more offense."

Evans led the Eagles with six goals and seven assists. Two other seniors, Chatham and Andi Williams, also played on the line.

"I think everybody understood the game a lot more than last year," said Evans. "We worked the ball well and we took a lot of shots. We had a lot more confidence."

Reese said another key to the attack was the more offense-minded play of three sophomore links, Moir, Suzanne Akers and Amy Watkins. Akers was second on the team in scoring with five goals and three assists. Watkins added four goals and one assist.

The Eagles' offense scored 20 goals and the defense allowed only 15. Sophomore keeper Melisa Bell had 65 saves in 14 games.

Shepherd and Sheila Patrick were the veterans on the defense. But four sophomores came on strong as the season went on -- halfbacks Jodi Spicer, Esther Evans and Capri Ingram and sweeper Jen Lowenstein.

Like her players, Reese said she would like to have gone on to postseason play, but she said the Eagles can't find an appropriate league for the field hockey team. The boys soccer team and the basketball teams play in the Maryland Association of Christian Schools, but that league offers no field hockey.

Reese said a couple of leagues have been considered like the Association of Independent Schools, which includes John Carroll. But because Harford Christian is only a couple miles from the Pennsylvania line and most of the AIS teams are scattered around the Beltway, Reese said the travel time was too long.

Other leagues, including the Harford County league, just don't seem appropriate for the small school, said Reese.

"We would have to find a league that fits our school," said Reese. "We only have 240 students in grades seven through 12. That's hard to find, so I guess we'll have to continue things the way they are."

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