North Carroll slips past Liberty, 1-0 Fulton's first-half goal stands up, gets Panthers off to winning start

September 11, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

It wasn't a designed penalty corner, but North Carroll sure made it look that way in its season-opening 1-0 win over rival Liberty yesterday in Eldersburg.

The game's only goal, scored by senior Ericka Fulton with 5: 03 left in the first half, came on North Carroll's fifth penalty corner opportunity. The first hit hopped over the intended player's stick outside the circle to Heather Lynch, who promptly sent it back in to Kristen Dowlin, who directed it toward Fulton along the left side.

"I just rushed in there looking to get a shot off," said Fulton. "It really takes the pressure off when you score in the first half. We had a lot of good passing and are all working well together."

A previous penalty corner looked almost the same with Lynch bringing it back into the circle along the same left side to create a solid scoring chance.

"I told [assistant coach] Laura [Morrisroe] we should make this a set play. It wasn't pretty, but this is a nice way to start the season," North Carroll coach Denean Koontz said.

The No. 6 Panthers came into the season with just about everyone back from last year's team that reached the region final. They had a 12-1 edge in both penalty corners and shots against a solid Liberty team that came in ranked 13th.

"It was nice to get the goal in the first half. That's something we're trying to do more this season," Koontz said. "We moved the ball well, but we've got to score. "We had so many opportunities where we were out of position inside the circle. Your feet have to be ready and in position to shoot."

Most of the afternoon was spent with North Carroll pressing on offense, but Liberty had some second-half chances to even the score. The Lions' best chance came eight minutes into the second half when Liz Armstrong took a shot that didn't get through the Panthers' defense. A little later, Panthers goalie Becky Bosley had to come out and kick aside another Liberty shot.

With under 15 seconds left, the Lions had one last chance when Ashley Meehan got a long ball through to Amanda Sleeper, but North Carroll defender Beth Schultz cleared the ball away.

"We need to work on spreading the field a little more, but I think we did OK," said Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn. "We were bunching up a little too much and had a tendency to panic with the ball, putting it wherever instead of looking up and finding legitimate space or a teammate."

Pub Date: 9/11/96

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