Pikesville wins county championship

October 30, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

The Pikesville field hockey team set some simple goals for this season. All the Panthers wanted to do was win the county, region and state titles.

One down, two to go.

Beth Cohen -- the area's leading scorer -- broke open the game with two second-half goals, and Melissa Sugar added a goal and an assist to give No. 4 Pikesville its first Baltimore County championship with a 3-0 victory over host Perry Hall yesterday.

Pikesville (13-0) now begins defense of its Class 2A South Region title when it plays host to Oakland Mills on Tuesday in the opening round of the regional playoffs. Perry Hall (7-3-2) plays Quince Orchard at home in the opening round of the Class 4A North Region playoffs tomorrow.

Pikesville shut out Perry Hall, 4-0, five days ago and held the Gators without a shot (25-0). The Panthers did the same yesterday as they outshot the Gators, 20-0, but the game was much tougher.

Perry Hall put more pressure on Pikesville, especially early. The Panthers struggled with their passing, but still held a 1-0 lead at halftime thanks to Sugar's goal with 15:55 left in the half. Sugar put the ball past Perry Hall goalie Kaira Carter (12 saves) after a scramble in front.

"We came out a little tight," said Pikesville coach Tim Fowler. "We were not executing, [but] I think we played really well in the second half."

Fowler made some adjustments on offense that opened up the passing. The Panthers also worked harder at stopping the ball instead of simply taking wild swings as they did much of the first half.

Cohen said the Panthers may have been a bit too high early and set a simple goal at halftime.

"We said that we wanted to score in the first five minutes of the second half," said Cohen.

And so they did. Cohen (22 goals, four assists) helped Pikesville quickly take command in the second half. She scored off the rebound of a shot from Sugar (eight goals, eight assists) just 1:24 into the half for a 2-0 lead.

Cohen converted the rebound of a shot from Stefany Flax (13 goals, four assists) at the 5:37 mark to put Pikesville ahead 3-0.

Perry Hall coach Linda Fisher said her team just came out and played its game, but Cohen's first goal hurt.

"We let down after they scored the first goal of the second half," said Fisher.

Pikesville controlled play in the second half much as it did last Tuesday. The Panthers passed nicely and set up several scoring chances as 13 of its 20 shots and seven of its 11 penalty corners came in the second half.

The Panthers also played well at times in the first half, but Perry Hall did a good job on defense. When Pikesville did threaten, it could not convert the chances.

But once Pikesville relaxed a bit at halftime, it was able to achieve its first goal of the season.

"I think we wanted it too badly," said Sugar. "Coach Fowler said to calm down and focus better. We wanted to play our game just like in practice."

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