N. Carroll stunned by Liberty in final No. 4 Panthers fall on strokes, 1-0 Field hockey

November 04, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

It will go down as one of the most memorable and physical field hockey games in Carroll County history.

And for North Carroll, it will linger as one of the most crushing defeats in all sports for the school.

Unranked Liberty stunned the fourth-ranked Panthers, 1-0, on strokes yesterday after the teams had played an emotional, scoreless duel for 80 minutes in the Class 2A, West Region championship game at North Carroll.

Fourth-seeded Liberty (9-5) rose up in the pressure-filled, best-of-five-strokes situation to win after being dominated most of the game by the second-seeded Panthers (11-2-1).

It was the fourth time since 1986 that North Carroll's season had ended on strokes.

In 1986, North Carroll lost the Class 3A state championship game to Broadneck on strokes, and in 1987 it lost in the 3A state final to Loch Raven in the same fashion.

HTC In 1988, the Panthers were beaten by Linganore in the state 2A region final on strokes, or "flickoffs."

Last season, North Carroll was defeated by Glenelg in the 2A region final on a goal that was scored while one of the Panthers was injured and on the ground .

Yesterday, Liberty clinched the strokes, the game and a trip Monday to the state 2A tournament when Lions sophomore goalkeeper Heather Carter saved a rather soft stroke by North Carroll's Laura Kenney.

Jessica Horneman and Kerry Stossel had made strokes in the first four rounds to give Liberty a 2-0 advantage with one round to play, making it impossible for the Panthers to come back.

The moment Carter made the save on Kenney's stroke, North Carroll coach Denean Powelson buried her head in disbelief and her playersbegan to cry.

In the background, the happy Liberty players stormed the field, realizing they had beaten probably the best 2A team in the state and that they would have a good shot at winning the championship at Goucher.

"We feel we can win the states now," said Horneman, a sophomore. "We knew North Carroll would be tough to beat and now that we accomplished that we feel great about our chances."

Horneman sent her stroke high over North Carroll goalkeeper Holly Saravelle's right shoulder, and Stossel sent a hard shot into the corner of the cage.

Horneman and Stossel had chosen themselves to be two of the five Lions to take strokes.

"Miss [Courtney] Vaughn is a great coach," said Horneman. "We hadn't practiced strokes that much, so she told us if we felt we could do it to come forward and tell her."

Vaughn said: "I still play and know what I'm capable of doing. So I told the girls to let me know if they felt like they could make the strokes. They chose themselves and I chose the order for them to shoot in."

It was only fitting that Carter made the save to clinch the victory for the Lions because she put in one of the best goal-keeping efforts seen in a long time in the county.

Carter made 19 saves in the battle that had players from both teams going to the sidelines with various bumps and bruises.

"It was incredible goal-keeping for a sophomore who should be on the junior varsity," said Vaughn.

North Carroll, which had beaten Liberty twice this season, outshot the Lions 29-12 and had two goals by Jill Ballard disallowed because of infractions in the second half.

They also had what appeared to be the winning goal by Beth Moore disallowed by a dangerous hit with 6:50 left in the second 10-minute overtime period.

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