Carlson, Ohrin team to lead Loyola to No. 1

April 24, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

In high school, Kerry Carlson and Linda Ohrin could not have been more intense rivals.

Whenever they squared off on the lacrosse field, it was in the game of the year in Howard County -- Carlson's Centennial squad against Ohrin's Mount Hebron team.

But that rivalry is a distant memory. Now, they are on the same side and have been for the past four years, playing at Loyola College, where the Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 in the nation for the past two weeks.

Friends since the first grade, Carlson and Ohrin formed an early bond through their love for sports.

"I don't think we ever played ball on a team together," said Ohrin.

"But we were always the loudest mouths in the whole league," said Carlson. "It was so funny. We used to talk trash to each other when we were like 10 years old. I'd go, 'she can't hit.' Meanwhile, the fathers are pitching."

Although they played on opposite sides through high school, they decided that college would be different. The All-Metro first-teamers and co-Howard County Players of the Year wanted to be teammates for a change.

"We're both very intense about our sports and we're both dedicated," said Ohrin. "We're willing to push each other and that's so important. When we were rivals, when we played Centennial and Hebron, that was the biggest game. She pushed me and it made me work harder. We made each other better. It's the same thing here [at Loyola]."

Today, they couldn't be happier playing for coach Diane Aikens. Both have excelled at Loyola.

Last week, goalkeeper Ohrin received first-team All-League honors as well as the Most Valuable Player award for leading the Greyhounds to their second straight Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title.

Carlson, a defense wing who has five goals and an assist, also has been an integral part of the Greyhounds' best-ever start. Loyola won 15 straight games before defending national champ and No. 4 Virginia snapped the string and most likely ended the Greyhounds' reign at No. 1 with a 12-9 victory at Loyola's Curley Field Thursday.

Their success is no surprise to Mount Hebron coach P.J. Kesmodel, who also coached both players in summer league.

He can't forget the 1990 showdown when Carlson's team beat his Vikings, 4-2, in front of a huge crowd at Centennial Park. That remains Hebron's only loss to a Howard County team.

"Kerry guarded Bridget [Drake] and took her right out of that game," said Kesmodel of his leading scorer. "Kerry was one of the toughest competitors coming out of the county. She was just so intense."

Kesmodel recruited Ohrin from the softball team for Mount Hebron's first girls lacrosse squad. She still holds the school single-game save record of 26.

"Back then, Linda was the difference in some of those games we won. She was that good. She has good quickness and ended up having real good technique," said Kesmodel, whom both women credit with helping them get their college scholarships.

Even though their college careers are almost over, neither Carlson nor Ohrin is quite ready to walk away from the competition.

Carlson, who majored in international business with a French minor, and Ohrin, an elementary education major, plan to put those careers on hold at least for a while.

"I don't want to put the pressure on myself to go ahead and put a suit on every day. I hate pantyhose," said Carlson, who plans to continue her job exercising horses at Pimlico and on a farm in Baltimore County.

"The part I like best is I don't have to leave competition," said Carlson. "I was kind of afraid I would leave the competition of college ball, and I wouldn't have anything to make up for it."

Ohrin wants to coach lacrosse on the high school or college level.

"I love the game too much to leave it behind," said Ohrin. "I'm very dedicated to it. It's a big part of my life."

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