Mt. Hebron knocks off Annapolis in semifinal

May 22, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

No. 5 Mount Hebron knew the key to beating No. 4 Annapolis was stopping high-scoring Cristi Samaras.

Samaras came into yesterday's game with 76 goals and 38 assists, including five goals in a 6-5 upset of No. 1 Severna Park Tuesday.

But yesterday, excellent marking defense by Vikings Sara Cho and Amanda Fleck shut out Samaras for the first 27 minutes and limited her to two second-half goals.

That defense sparked the Vikings (15-2) to a 16-9 victory over the second-seeded Panthers (15-2) in a state Class 3A-4A semifinal at Catonsville Community College.

"The key to this game was Samaras not killing us," said Vikings coach P.J. Kesmodel. "We just rotated Sara and Amanda the whole game to deny her the ball. She didn't really get it that much."

The third-seeded Vikings advance to play No. 11 and top-seeded Dulaney for the championship Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Catonsville Community College. Dulaney (15-1) won its semifinal game 14-6 over unranked C. Milton Wright Friday night.

While the Vikings, two-time defending Class 1A-2A champs, have plenty of state tournament experience, the Panthers had never made it to the final four until this year. Their way had always been blocked by Severna Park, which won the first four state Class 3A-4A titles.

The Panthers did not take Hebron lightly, but Samaras said they could have played better.

"They did everything we expected them to do," said the senior headed for Princeton. "We were just flat. Our minds weren't in it. We weren't there physically, mentally, and we didn't really show up, I don't think."

The Panthers led only at 3-2, but after trailing 8-5 at halftime, they pulled within two goals when Karen Hunt scored just 36 seconds into the second half.

The teams traded goals to 9-7 before Annapolis suffered a costly blow when defender Stephy Samara was ejected from the game, called for a second dangerous check with 20 minutes left.

"That was a big factor, because we had to change everything," said Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes. "We were still in the game. What were we down two goals at that point? Then we lost our top defender and bingo, we were in trouble."

Mount Hebron scored three of the next four goals and blew it open with four straight in the final eight minutes.

Gehrdes had to move Cristi Samaras, who scored her first goal to pull within 9-7, back to third man and that cost the Panthers some of their offensive punch.

All game long the Vikings did a good job of drawing the double team and dumping the ball off to a free player on the crease.

"We didn't seem to communicate well [on defense]," said Gehrdes.

With 12:14 left, Cathy Nelson gave the Vikings their first four-goal lead, 12-8, by drawing the defense and dishing off to Jen Stocker.

After Erika Knutson split the double team at the other end to pull the Panthers back within three, Nelson sparked a four-goal Vikings run. Nelson hit Lynette Chastant for a 13-9 lead, then rolled the crease for her second goal of the game.

Janice Yoo scored on a free position and Chastant added her game-high sixth goal to push the Vikings lead to 16-9.

Nelson finished with two goals and four assists while Erin McGinnis scored four and Jen Stocker, two for the Vikings. The Panthers' Hunt scored five goals.

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