Arundel falls to Northern, 1-0

November 03, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

His team had been bounced from the regional playoffs in LaPlata and Calvert the last two years. Clint Gosnell didn't want Arundel hitting the road for a third time.

The Wildcats followed their coach's instructions by securing the No. 1 seeding and home-field advantage in the Class 4A South Region tournament, but they couldn't make it work.

Senior attack Shannon McBain scored off a penalty corner from senior midfielder Ashley Catts at 1:33 of the second half, leading third-seeded Northern-Calvert past Arundel, 1-0, and into Monday's state semifinals at Goucher College.

Seniors Jessica Dorr and Amanda Gottschall each made three saves for the No. 15 Wildcats (10-3-1), who had won nine in a row.

Arundel dominated the first 10 minutes, but had nothing to show for it. And once the Patriots' Kirsten McGowan sent a long pass downfield, leading to the first of their 10 penalty corners, the momentum swung toward the visitors.

And that's where it stayed.

"If we had scored early, I think it would have been a different ballgame," Gosnell said. "I think our girls got a little intimidated after Northern's first corner. They almost scored on it and we lost a little bit of the edge after that."

Northern's defense, led by seniors Felicite Meyers and Emily Kane and juniors Amy LeBrun and Jennifer Rice wouldn't let them get it back. Each time Arundel made a rush in the second half, one of the Patriots (10-2-2) would intervene.

"That's pretty typical," said coach Mary Finley. "We play really tough, clean hockey. We just spot the ball and pass the ball.

"My goalie [senior Kenna Brigham] is only in her second year playing field hockey. She's a softball player and she's playing goalie to get in shape for softball. This is my second-string goalie who's taking me to the states."

On Northern's early problems, when it couldn't get the ball across midfield, Finley said, "Talk to anyone in Calvert County, we start real slow. Sometimes I have to take them off the field and kick them one. They started slow but they performed with a lot of heart. I've had faith in them all year long."

Northern hasn't been to the state tournament in 10 years, but McBain made sure it would go this time by slapping a shot past Gottschall off the Patriots' sixth corner. Gottschall made a nice save with 23 minutes left to keep the margin at one, but Arundel's offense couldn't produce.

"We battled tooth and nail," Gosnell said. "If that ball doesn't go in, we're going into overtime and it might be a different story.

"We got rattled at times, but next year we won't make the same mistakes. That's how you build a program. Five years ago, we didn't win a ballgame, and look where we are now. I'm really proud of the girls."

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