Pocomoke wins 4th 1A title in row, topping F.S. Key Rebounding Carroll team satisfied with 1A season

Field hockey

November 13, 1996|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,SUN STAFF

When the Francis Scott Key Eagles walked off the field following yesterday afternoon's 2-0 loss to Pocomoke in the Class 1A state final game at Goucher College, there were few tears or heads dropped low.

There were even a couple of smiles.

"[Pocomoke] was really good, and it was an excellent game," said Key senior forward Jenn Parrish. "The seniors couldn't be happier."

"Sure," she continued, "we would have liked to win, but this year has been fun, and we've accomplished a lot."

East region champ Pocomoke, from the lower Eastern Shore, is winner of the last three Class 1A state titles and seven overall dating back to 1983. The school's teams have set the field hockey standard at this level, and the No. 15 Eagles (10-5-1) did all they could to present a challenge.

"We played very well," said senior link Heather Arnold. "They had great stickwork, great passing and were very fast, but we kept up with them."

Down 1-0 at half, the Eagles pressed early in the second half with Parrish and sophomore Stephanie Lawrence getting chances. But strong defense led by Pocomoke's Tennille Jackson and Sarah Villaume held before Juli Byrd scored an insurance goal on a penalty stroke with seven minutes left to give Pocomoke (15-1-1) the two-goal lead.

Even then, the Eagles kept on coming, spending the closing moments inside Pocomoke's circle.

"We're a second-half team," Parrish said. "We really came back, but couldn't put it in. We're not a team that gives up."

The Eagles showed that quality from the middle of the season, when they took off after a slow start to win their last eight games and reached the final for the first time since 1993. That year, they defeated Pocomoke, to win their fifth state crown.

"We had a great year. Some didn't expect us to get this far, but we never gave up. This was a team of big hearts," said Arnold.

Very big hearts, but a little overmatched by a talented Pocomoke team that outscored its five playoff opponents by a 15-0 count.

After a lot of play at midfield early on, the Warriors cranked it up with 16 minutes left in the first half, gaining two straight penalty corners. They resulted in two hards shots from the outside by Byrd that Key senior goalie Renee Riggs (seven saves) kicked aside.

Two minutes later, another ball sent inside the Key circle hopped over an Eagle defender's stick to Pocomoke's Brandi Shobe, who put a shot past Riggs from the right side.

Pub Date: 11/13/96

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