For a change, shootout goes Raiders' way Loch Raven's Giannaccini ends torment by Hereford

Girls soccer

November 06, 1996|By Michael Lewis | Michael Lewis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After 100 minutes, the outcome of yesterday's Hereford-Loch Raven Class 2A-1A North Region final lay squarely on the right foot of Loch Raven's Susan Giannaccini.

Also resting on Giannaccini's foot was three years of Loch Raven playoff frustration. For two consecutive years, No. 8 Hereford had knocked third-ranked Loch Raven out of the championship hunt -- in 1994 in a shootout and last year in overtime.

But under a heavy cover of darkness with the score tied, 8-8, in the game's sudden-death shootout, Giannaccini eradicated all of her team's bad memories. She kicked to the goal's upper left corner, just past Hereford goalkeeper Kate Macfarlane's outstretched arms to give the Raiders a dramatic win, 9-8.

"Macfarlane's on my club team, and she knew I always shoot to her right, so I faked like I was going to kick it right and then just curled into the left corner," Giannaccini said after escaping from a mob of jubilant teammates. "It was so important for us to finally beat them when it counted."

Hereford (12-3-1) seemed to have the game won during the first shootout. The Bulls took a 4-2 lead and had two-time All-Metro goalkeeper Macfarlane playing well.

But goals by midfielder Nicole Wartman and goalie Angela Ruocco helped the Raiders tie the shootout, 6-6, and send the decision into sudden death. After both teams scored on their first two kicks, Ruocco stopped Hereford halfback Jenn Jones on a shot to the lower right corner. That set the stage for team captain Giannaccini to be the heroine.

"There were two great goalies going at it, and we knew we had a chance at the end with Susan kicking," Loch Raven coach Anthony Menegatti said. "After the way the last two years have gone for us, I think maybe it just was our turn."

Up until the shootout, Loch Raven (15-1) was dominant in all aspects of the game, outshooting the Bulls, 19-5.

The Raiders controlled the ball in Hereford's end throughout, but Macfarlane proved impenetrable, making 11 saves.

"It's too bad it had to end with penalty kicks, but I guess you can't play forever," Hereford coach Steve Power said. "A couple of shots go a little bit differently, and we're celebrating right now."

Loch Raven advances to the state semifinals Friday at Dundalk Community College.

Pub Date: 11/06/96

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