Pikesville's Cohen puts winning first

November 01, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to the Sun

Don't talk to Beth Cohen of No. 4 Pikesville about her statistics.

The center forward knows that she leads the area in scoring with 22 goals and four assists. But while goals and assists are nice, winning field hockey games brings her more enjoyment.

"The goals don't mean as much as the wins," said Cohen. "If I score and we're playing badly, I'm still not happy. If we lost, I wouldn't be happy at all."

Cohen has been happy so far this season. Pikesville is 13-0 and won the Baltimore County championship.

She is part of a strong Pikesville front line that has helped the team score 59 goals. She gets help from Stefany Flax (13 goals, four assists), Laurie Weiss (six goals, 14 assists) and Melissa Sugar (eight goals, eight assists).

Pikesville coach Tim Fowler and Cohen say that, as a center forward, she is simply doing her job by scoring goals. But during her two years on the varsity, she's done it well.

Cohen scored 15 goals and added five assists last year as Pikesville went 11-3 and made it to the Class 2A state semifinals. Fowler said he looked for more of the same this year from Cohen.

"I was just basically hoping she'd do what she did last year," said Fowler. "I was hoping she'd improve overall on her output and so far she's doing exactly what I expected her to do."

Speed and stickwork are Cohen's greatest strengths. She can run well and get herself in position in front of the cage and she also stops the ball well -- especially in traffic.

And when Cohen gets the ball in close, that often spells trouble for the other team.

Cohen credits teammates for getting her the ball.

"Their passes allow me to get my goals," said Cohen. "If it weren't for their passes, I wouldn't be able to score."

For this season to be perfect for Cohen, a state championship trophy would need to come to Pikesville. The Panthers begin their quest for the state title today when they play host to Oakland Mills at 2:30 p.m. in a Class 2A South Region semifinal.

"We knew coming into the season what we were capable of," said Cohen. "We set our goal of winning the states, and we hope that's what we would achieve."

Pikesville has been close several times in recent years. The Panthers made the region final in 1988, 1990 and 1991, but lost each time. Last year, the Panthers topped Lackey, 1-0, in the Class 2A South final -- on a Cohen goal.

There are nine seniors on this team that have played together for four years, including when the Panthers won the 1992 Baltimore County junior varsity championship.

And if Pikesville makes it to the state title game, Cohen said scoring a goal would be nice but winning would be much nicer. "As long as I helped get the ball downfield, as long as we got the ball in the goal, it doesn't matter who scores," said Cohen. "I just want to do my job."

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