Oakland Mills triumphs over North Harford, 1-0 Arnold's goal gains Scorpions 1A-2A final

November 14, 1995|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Oakland Mills' Kristen Arnold spent most of last night's class 1A-2A state semifinal game against North Harford wearing a jacket and cap and cheering her team from the bench.

She expected as much. A sophomore, Arnold spent the regular season on the junior varsity and moved up to varsity when the playoffs began.

What she didn't expect, however, was to score the winning goal.

Arnold's goal off a corner kick by Ginny Dye with 13:24 left in the first half gave the 15th-ranked Scorpions a 1-0 victory over the Hawks on a sloppy field at Lansdowne High School.

Oakland Mills coach Steve Matters decided last Thursday to put Arnold in on corner kicks to utilize her height (5 feet 11). "It was a premonition, I guess," Matters said.

Oakland Mills will play Hereford in the state final Friday at 5 p.m. at North County High School. It is the Scorpions' third trip to the championship game in four years. They won in 1992 and lost last year to Fallston.

"It's a great opportunity," said Dye, a four-year starter. "Most girls don't go to one."

Oakland Mills (8-6-2) dominated the first half and it finally paid off on its fourth corner kick. Dye's kick sailed low and toward the near post and Arnold ran through the defense and knocked it in for her first varsity goal.

"I was very surprised," said Arnold. "I didn't expect it to go in. I think it went off my left leg. I really can't remember."

North Harford goalie Jessica Colletta said she "never saw it coming. It was a team mistake that cost us the game. It was a clean goal."

The Hawks (11-4-1), who have only one senior, came out more aggressive in the second half and made the contest more even.

"It was a rough game," said Dye. "The playing conditions were horrible. I think we dominated the first half, but they kind of dominated the second. It could have gone either way."

"We came back in the second half and gave it all we had," said North Harford's Tara Schlerf. "That's all you can ask."

"We played with our hearts," said Colletta, who made an excellent save of a Dye shot late in the second half.

Oakland Mills outshot North Harford, 13-5, and Hawks co-coach Tom Berg admitted the Scorpions "definitely had more quality opportunities." But North Harford, behind their freshman leading scorers Rene Valle and Amy Scotten, kept the pressure on sweeper Michelle Osterberger and the Scorpions' defense in the second half.

Said Matters: "We're not the most skilled team in the world, but we're not going to quit. We're a good team. We play as hard as we can as long as we can."

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