Dirks scores 4 goals to spur Annapolis, 10-6 Panthers top Severna Park, get edge in county race

April 24, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

For the past two years, Annapolis has beaten Severna Park in the regional final, but the Panthers had not been able to knock off their archrivals during the regular season.

That changed last night.

Four goals from Kelly Dirks and great defense all over the field sparked the No. 1 Panthers to a 10-6 victory over visiting No. 3 Severna Park. The win gives the Panthers (11-0, 8-0 league) the upper hand in the race for the county title, which they shared with the Falcons (8-1, 7-1) last year.

If the Panthers can remain atop the county's South Division, they would play the North winner for the title next month.

Last night, the Panthers started out so strong that they rolled up a 6-0 lead and held Severna Park scoreless until the last four minutes of the first half.

"They showed us up in defense, offense, midfield, goalkeeping -- every aspect of the game," said Severna Park coach Carin Peterson. "The score isn't even indicative -- 10-6 wasn't even a close game. They blew us out of the water."

The Panthers' defense stifled the Falcons right from the start, double-teaming the ball all over the field and forcing turnover after turnover. Two prime performances came from wing Amy Brew, who stole the ball outright at least four times on checks, and goalie Abby Pheiffer, who made nine saves, including about four point-blank ones.

Less than five minutes into the game, Pheiffer stopped a close-range attempt on the Falcons' first shot and Becky Morris converted a minute later.

"She had some tremendous saves, especially in the first half," said Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes. "That first point-blank save she had, three meters out maybe, the girl was wide open in the eight-meter arc, that really set the tone defensively."

While the defense held off the Falcons, the Panthers' attack picked apart Severna Park's defense by moving the ball quickly and hitting the open cutter. Dirks scored three straight when Susan Berotti, Morris and Brooke Wagner found her in perfect position on the crease.

Five minutes into the second half, the Falcons rallied with goals from Susan Stanke and Jessica Adams to pull within 6-3. But the Panthers answered with three straight from Dirks, Wagner and Brew to run the lead back to six with 17 minutes to go.

The Falcons scored three of the last four goals, but a torrential downpour fell through the game's final five minutes, preventing either team from posting a serious threat.

It didn't take the Falcons long to start thinking about revenge.

"We'll follow their tradition and win next time," said Falcons defender Jennie Voishan. "In the second half, we played much better; and I think we'll get better, but we have a lot of work to do."

Pub Date: 4/24/96

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