Salmon helps Old Mill get job done against Arundel Girls soccer

November 03, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

As Old Mill's Michelle Salmon walked off the field at the conclusion of yesterday's playoff game, she clapped her hands and said, "It wasn't pretty, but we got the job done."

No one took care of business more thoroughly than Salmon, whose three goals helped the third-seeded Patriots turn back second- seeded Arundel, 3-2, in a 3A-4A East Regional girls soccer semifinal at Chesapeake.

Senior Jackie Bardelli made 12 saves for Old Mill (11-2), which will meet fourth-seeded Chesapeake in Saturday's final. One of her stops came from point-blank range with just under five minutes left.

Arundel (10-3) dominated the early portion of the game and took a 1-0 lead at 4:39 on the first of two Barb Muller goals. Kristen Smeby put a direct kick off the crossbar, and Shauna Donohue's follow-up shot was deflected by Bardelli to Muller.

"We came out flat," Salmon said. "We were really psyched on the bus, but I think it was partly nerves."

The Wildcats couldn't cash in on a couple of other opportunities against the sluggish Patriots, and Salmon tied the score with 6:10 left after Arundel goalkeeper Marcia Lavin mishandled a crossing pass from Lisa Gallicchio.

"I couldn't tell if it was across the line or not, so I just followed it through," Salmon said.

Salmon put Old Mill ahead with 53 seconds left in the half when she floated a left-footed shot over Lavin from about 18 yards out. She completed the hat trick with 16:51 remaining in the game on a penalty kick after an Arundel player was called for tripping in the box.

The Wildcats didn't allow Old Mill to relax, however. Bardelli slowed a shot from Muller with 7:25 left, but the ball rolled behind her and the Arundel senior tapped it in to close the gap. But Bardelli later made what Sponsler called "a big-time save" when she denied Tara Surlis, who had taken a pass from Muller and appeared ready to tie the score.

"I've been telling everybody for four years that I knew [Bardelli] had it in her, and finally this year it's all coming together for her. I'm very proud of her," Sponsler said.

When the two teams met earlier this season, Old Mill's 2-1 win was nullified after Sponsler discovered he had used an ineligible player. The No. 3 Patriots have won six in a row since then, and Salmon is a big reason.

"I know this kid that plays in the Catholic League is supposed to be better than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but I'd like to see her play in this kind of competition and do as well as Salmon. She's incredible," said Arundel coach Paul Yannuzzi.

The loss ended a remarkable season for Arundel, which was making its first playoff appearance since 1981. The 14th-ranked Wildcats weren't considered one of the stronger teams in the county before the season, but they soon became one.

"Arundel has nothing to hang their heads about," Sponsler said. "They deserved to be in the playoffs. They had a great year."

Yannuzzi said: "Old Mill has this tremendous ability to turn it up a notch, and maybe that's the difference between us. They had the experience over us."

And they had Salmon, which usually is enough.

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