Bad breaks undo title hopes for 3 teams North Carroll, Liberty Westminster left in lurch


November 18, 1992|By BILL FREE

Losing is never fun in the state playoffs.

But if a team gets beat on a controversial call, or under other unusual circumstances, the tears, anger and frustration will linger much longer than usual.

That's the situation this week facing the players, coaches, parents and fans of teams at three Carroll schools that lost bids for state titles over the past 12 days.

The unfortunate losers were the North Carroll field hockey team, the Liberty girls soccer team and the Westminster field hockey team.

The first and most controversial setback came Nov. 6 for North Carroll in the state 2A, Region I championship game.

The Panthers were beaten by Glenelg, 2-1, on a goal that was scored while the Panthers' Amber Bosley was lying on the ground with her nose bleeding profusely.

She had rushed out to defend on a penalty corner, got hit in the nose, fell to the ground and was left there while Glenelg made a couple of passes before scoring.

Bosley was taken to a hospital later as a precautionary measure.

But game officials did not stop play to attend to Bosley until after the winning goal was scored with 39 seconds on the clock.

North Carroll coach Denean Powelson and her players were left in a state of shock and disbelief.

"That's the toughest loss for me in eight years of playing field hockey and one year of coaching," said Powelson. "I went up to the official and asked why play wasn't stopped. The official said she didn't see it."

Since then, Powelson said she has talked to numerous people about the critical play and received different answers.

"Some say they aren't supposed to stop play on a situation like that and others say they should have," said Powelson.

Next came a crushing setback for the Liberty girls soccer team in the semifinals of the state 2A-1A tournament at South Carroll last Friday.

The Cinderella Lions had held heavily favored Oakland Mills from Howard County to a scoreless tie for more than 75 minutes, and looked as if they might take the game to sudden-death overtime.

However, Oakland Mills was awarded a direct kick from 20 yards out with 4:27 left in the game to set off a series of bad breaks for Liberty.

First, the Lions couldn't get their defensive wall set up in time for the kick by Tyann Blissett and then the ball caromed off Liberty defender Katie Kelbaugh and skipped past goalkeeper Dani Fostik's shoulder.

If the ball had not hit Kelbaugh, Fostik most likely would have made the save because the ball was headed straight for her at waist level.

There was very little first-year coach Lynn Stone could say to console herself and her players after that loss. One day later at Goucher College, the Westminster field hockey team did a lot of things right and should have at least been in a tie with Severna Park at the end of regulation in the state 4A championship game.

The Owls outshot the Falcons, 24-15, and had a 16-6 edge in penalty corners.

But they lost, 1-0, on an unusual goal by Severna Park with 19:42 left in the game.

After four straight shots were rejected by Westminster goalkeeper Sarah Martin, the ball became wedged between defender Laurie Moody's feet.

Before Moody or Martin could get to the ball, the Falcons' Colleen Gately came crashing though a mass of players and pushed the ball in the goal.

Again, there were more tears and a lot of frustration.

Left behind for all three of those county teams is a lifetime of memories and "what if?" questions.

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