Bethesda-Chevy Chase holds off Bel Air

November 10, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

The sixth-ranked Bel Air Bobcats played powerful Bethesda-Chevy Chase nearly evenly in the second half of their Class 3A state semifinal yesterday at Goucher College.

It's what happened in the first half that sealed the Harford County team's fate.

Bel Air was dominated in the first 30 minutes, getting outshot, 14-0, and allowing the game's only goal off a penalty corner en route to a 1-0 loss to the Montgomery County team.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase (15-0) moves on to Saturday's 11:30 a.m. Class 3A state title game against Leonardtown, a 1-0 winner over Centennial in the other semifinal. The game will mark the Barons' seventh trip to the state final since 1987.

After losing in the semifinals last year, Barons coach Amy Wood said her team was eager for redemption.

"They were determined," said Wood, whose team improved to 115-7-2 over the past eight years. "The best thing that could have happened was for us to lose last year.

"We came out today and played our best first half of the season."

But even though the Bobcats (12-3) were severely outplayed during the early going, they still had a chance to tie the game during the final minutes -- a fact that pleased coach Phyllis Hemmes.

"It takes a half for the kids to adjust to playing in the state semifinals, and you don't find a team that aggressive and with that good stickwork all the time," said Hemmes, whose team -- which lost in the state semifinals for the second straight year -- was out-shot, 18-1.

"But when you hold a team with that ability to one goal, you have to be pleased."

Players said that early jitters also contributed to the team's shaky performance.

"We were really nervous, especially after we heard they were 14-0," said Bel Air back Karen Wagner. "Knowing a team is undefeated always makes it tough."

BCC scored the game's only goal with just over 19 minutes left in the first half. Maurisa Schainker started the play by sending a hard penalty corner to Stacy Wallick, who scored on a 10-yard bullet from in front.

The goal was just part of a one-sided first half in which Bel Air moved the ball over midfield just three times and got it into the circle just once.

The second half, however, was a different story. The Bobcats began playing more aggressively, stringing together passes and even pressuring the goal.

Lauryn Fiorelli got off the Bobcats' only shot -- a hard grounder saved by goalie Christina Bokat -- with under five minutes left.

"I think we stepped up in the second half and surprised them a little bit," said Wagner. "At halftime we just figured we'd give it our all and not let them score again.

"For the rest of the game I thought we played great."

But Bethesda-Chevy Chase, which had given up two goals all season, survived the final few minutes to preserve the win.

Wood said she was ecstatic about getting a crack at the state championship in only her second year. But for this Aberdeen native, beating Bel Air was special in itself.

"Where I grew up, Bel Air was my archrival," said Wood. "I told my players, 'This is the team that I use to play against. We have to beat them.' "

For Hemmes, the end result boiled down to one very simple fact.

"They just have a very nice team," she said.

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