Raiders race past Hammond 1A-2A girls soccer

November 20, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

Loch Raven coach Lou Menegatti didn't map out any secret strategies or design any trick plays to give his team the edge in last night's Class 1A-2A state championship soccer game at Liberty High School.

Against a slower Hammond team, speed proved to be the only edge the Raiders needed.

No. 7 Loch Raven used its quick front line to beat Hammond defenders numerous times, and it rode goals by Robyn Harry and Nicole Froman to a 2-0 win, giving Baltimore County its first state soccer champion.

For Menegatti, whose team lost last year's final to Oakland Mills in double overtime, it was a long time coming.

"We talked about [being the first] all week long," Menegatti said. "We wanted to show we could play with these strong Howard and Anne Arundel teams. We just thought we were deserving of a title."

And the Raiders played like it.

Loch Raven (16-1) outshot No. 3 Hammond 12-8, scoring both goals in the game's first 20 minutes.

The game plan for the Raiders was simply to get the ball to their forwards and let them use their speed to beat defenders on the outside.

It worked to perfection.

"We saw right away that we had the speed advantage on them," Harry said. "On the outside, we could beat them all day. We knew we'd get our chances to score."

After Harry failed to convert on the first, hitting an uncontested shot wide left, she scored three minutes later, 16:51 into the first half, and setting the tone for the rest of the game.

The junior took a cross from Kim Allen about 25 yards out, blew past her defender and beat goalie Amy Nestor to her left to make it 1-0.

"The second time, I wasn't going to mess up," said Harry, Loch Raven's leading scorer coming into the game with 36 goals. "I think that goal really knocked [Hammond] down."

Before the Bears (11-4) had a chance to get up, they were down again.

Carrie Winkler started the play by lofting a corner kick toward a crowd right in front of the goal. Froman, a 5-foot-9 defender used on offense for her height on set plays near the goal, outleaped two defenders and headed a bouncer through a pair of legs and into the goal.

With a 2-0 lead, Loch Raven players say they had the confidence to go the distance.

"Getting the lead was very important," Froman said. "If we hadn't scored by the second half, it would have just killed our confidence."

That was all the offense Loch Raven needed, as a frustrated Hammond offense couldn't take advantage of numerous scoring chances.

Their best included a give-and-go from Emily Bielefeld to Kacy Williams that was met with a diving save by goalie Terry Hendricks, and an early second-half shot by Williams, kick-saved by back Kristi LaVardera with Hendricks out of the play.

"I felt we had the ability to come back, but we just couldn't get that first goal," said Hammond coach Dave Guetler.

Guetler said that the difference in the game was the Raiders' speed.

"We didn't have the speed in back to match up with their forwards," he said. "They beat us to a lot of balls strictly on speed. It wasn't a case of who wanted it more."

For the Raiders, winning the first state championship in county history was plenty of incentive to hustle. Monday at school, players will apply a temporary tattoo to Menegatti's head as a reward for winning.

"I really think [Hammond] thought they had the edge," Froman said. "But it means a great deal for us to beat a Howard County team. I think it's a sign that we're [Baltimore County] on par [with Howard] and moving up."

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