Final exams for Arundel, South River Wildcats, Seahawks seek Maryland titles tomorrow

Girls soccer

November 15, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Arundel lines up and beats teams with talent, speed and depth.

South River wins games with emotion, heart and advanced skills.

Now each team is a victory away from state championships that would give Anne Arundel County a sweep of the top three titles involving metro-area teams.

Top-ranked St. Mary's (16-2-1) has already won the Catholic League title.

At noon tomorrow at Dundalk Community College, eighth-ranked South River (13-1-2) will try to complete its rousing tournament run with a win over fifth-ranked Liberty (15-0-2) in the Class 3A-2A championship game.

Then, at 2: 30 p.m., second-ranked Arundel (16-1) will be out to take the state Class 4A-3A title in a duel with ninth-ranked Fallston (12-2-1).

Arundel has put together a dream-like season under first-year coach Tom Degner, who has to be one of the area's most laid-back coaches.

Degner strolls around calmly in front of the Arundel bench during games, talking quietly to his players and teaching them the game's finer points. He even talks to the media during contests and appears to enjoy every second of every game.

Degner lets his assistant, Marianne Shultz, do most of the yelling at players during games, and she also gives the pep talks.

Once in a while, Degner raises his voice to dispute an official's call or to tell a player she should have taken a shot or been in a different position on the field.

Degner and Shultz have complemented each other perfectly, producing the Wildcats' first girls soccer victory over Severna Park in 11 years and the school's first win in regional competition.

Arundel won the 4A-3A East Region with a 1-0 decision over Severna Park, with Kelly Jordan producing the winning goal with a spectacular play.

Degner and Shultz are the first to admit the team's feats couldn't have been accomplished without a lot of gifted players, starting with the speedy sophomore, Jordan, who has scored 21 goals and has eight assists.

Junior forward Polly Williams has scored five goals and has eight assists, even though she has seen limited playing time in recent games because Degner wants to have stronger defensive players on the field when the Wildcats have a lead.

Arundel's offensive talent includes Jill Jones and Becky Beardsley, who have come on strong down the stretch with key goals. Jones has eight goals and three assists, and Beardsley has six goals and nine assists.

Defensively, the Wildcats have a long list of standouts that includes senior Karen Diacont and senior goalkeeper Maria Drury, who made 13 saves in a 1-0 win over Bowie in the state semifinal.

For a youthful South River squad, the rise to statewide recognition is something of a surprise.

Jess Marion, who led the Seahawks to the Anne Arundel County title two years ago, is attending James Madison University on a soccer and lacrosse scholarship.

There are five seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen on this team that figures to be around the state tournament for a few years.

Senior forward Theresa Beckett leads the Seahawks' attack with 13 goals and eight assists, sophomore Jess DuVall is next with 10 goals and four assists, senior Val Smith has six goals and three assists and sophomore Heather Collison has scored six times with two assists.

Jess DuVall, whose sister, Jen, is a senior forward on the team, scored what proved to be the winning goal last Monday night in a 2-1 victory over Bel Air in the 3A-2A semifinals. Shannon Simmons also scored for the Seahawks.

Two other talented South River players are the Zamarripa sisters -- junior forward Lorie and sophomore midfielder Nichoal.

The Zamarripas seem to be all over the field. They are backed by senior defender Becky Preston and junior goalkeeper Erin Graham.

Pub Date: 11/15/96

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