Howard steadies its nerves for 1-0 region win Diamond's goal gives Lions their 1st state tourney trip

Field hockey

November 01, 1996|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Howard field hockey and bad games don't mix. Just ask Lions' coach Pat Becker.

"This is truly a team that has not had a bad game [all season]," Becker said. "The strength of this team is that they play consistently well."

And just to prove it, the Lions are headed to Monday's state semifinals for the first time in the school's history.

Howard shook off a nervous start yesterday, then turned up its intensity in the second half for a 1-0 victory over Hammond in the Class 2A South region final at Howard. The Lions (10-3-1) will play the winner of today's Parkside-North East game at 2: 45 p.m. Monday at Goucher College.

"We worked so hard for this. We deserved it," said Howard senior Michelle DeYoung, whose team scheduled a 6: 30 a.m. practice today. "Every player had their heart in it, and that got us through."

NTC Kelley Diamond's fourth goal of the season off a penalty corner 10 minutes into the second half was the difference. Hammond goalie Katie Reytar made an initial save, but the ball stayed in front of the cage. DeYoung passed to Diamond, who was alone on the left side, and she easily scored.

"The ball hit off my stomach and went out, and they moved it around me," said Reytar, whose elbow was bloodied on the play. "I was on the ground, and they pushed it past my stick."

Hammond (7-7-1) came into the game having scored three goals in each of its two playoff games. But it couldn't get untracked against Howard.

"The confidence [in scoring] was developing there," said Hammond coach Gay Petrlik. "It just didn't happen today. In the first half, we were more intense and eager, but we couldn't get our shots."

Howard's defensive line of Amanda Eldridge, Susan Mancho, Christin Allison, Jana Grant and Amy Lough made it relatively easy for goalie Erika Rhodeside (three saves). "They kept us in the game till the end," DeYoung said. "If it wasn't for them, we would have been down in the first half."

Although Petrlik was disappointed, she said the program has a bright future, adding: "We're up and coming. We have a lot of kids coming back who are talented."

Severna Park 2, Calvert 0: The top-ranked Falcons (14-1) defeated the Calvert County team for the Class 4A South title and a chance at winning a national record-tying fifth straight state field hockey title.

Pub Date: 11/01/96

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