When Oakland Mills and Loch Raven play, all goals are big Defense likely key in state title game Girls soccer

Girls soccer

November 20, 1992|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

One thing is likely about the girls Class 2A-1A state championship soccer game to be played tomorrow at Arundel High. Neither Oakland Mills nor Loch Raven will score many goals.

Oakland Mills' defense has four straight shutouts, including two over defending Class 2A-1A state champion Hammond. The Scorpions (13-1-1) have eight shutouts and have allowed 12 goals in 15 games.

Loch Raven (11-3) has four shutouts in its past six games and gave up two goals during those games. The Raiders have six shutouts and have given up 15 goals in 14 games.

Oakland Mills' defense is led by 6-foot-1 goalkeeper Lauren McHargue, sweeper Laura Ellestadt and fullback Mandy Kolste. Sweeper Shelly Kales is Loch Raven's top defender.

Neither team has a particularly potent offense that is likely to break down a strong defense. Loch Raven has scored 38 goals, and Oakland Mills 46.

But Loch Raven scored 17 of its goals in one-sided games against Sparrows Point, Owings Mills and Pikesville. And Oakland Mills scored 22 goals in games against Edgewood, North Hagerstown and Northeast.

Oakland Mills' top scorers are Tyann Blissett (12 goals and 10 assists) and Tricia Witte (12 goals and eight assists).

Michele DeJuliis leads Loch Raven with 18 goals and six assists, and Robyn Harry has nine goals and nine assists.

Oakland Mills likes to score off counter-attacks by taking the ball to the corners and hitting the seams. Loch Raven likes to score off counter-attacks featuring long kicks down the middle of the field.

Experience may be on Oakland Mills' side. The Scorpions have nine seniors, and Loch Raven has just six. Oakland Mills made it to the final in 1990, so its nine seniors have playoff experience. Scorpions coach Nancy Shea has said that maturity has been the key to Oakland Mills winning all of its big games this season.

Oakland Mills, a close-knit team that pulls together in pressure situations, is a versatile squad, with several players able to play several positions. It uses its intelligence to offset its average speed and size.

This is Loch Raven's third straight state tournament appearance, but first time in the final.

Baltimore County teams are generally thought to play weaker schedules than Howard County teams, a factor that often hurts Baltimore County teams in the playoffs.

But Loch Raven played non-league games against John Carroll and McDonogh, which are tied for The Sun's No. 6 ranking and No. 15 Mercy. The Raiders beat Mercy, but lost to John Carroll and McDonogh.

Class 2A-1A final

Date: Tomorrow

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Site: Arundel High

Records: Oakland Mills, 13-1-1; Loch Raven, 11-3

Key: This will be a battle of defenses, and whichever team scores a goal will likely win.

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