South River frustrates Liberty for share of title Defense, goalkeeping lead Seahawks to 0-0 tie

3A-2A girls soccer

November 17, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Liberty had high-scoring striker Shanna Ziegenfuss and a lot of talent.

South River had a hot goalkeeper in Erin Graham, excellent team speed and an ability to strike the goal quickly.

South River took Ziegenfuss' best shots and came back for more and more in the state Class 3A-2A girls soccer championship game yesterday at Dundalk Community.

But no one on the field could find a way to put the ball in the net during 80 minutes of regulation play and 20 minutes of overtime action and the two teams walked off the field as 3A-2A state co-champions with a 0-0 tie in a grueling physical battle that was marred sometimes by pushing, shoving, forearms to the body and face and even a few punches.

Call it Round One of a new girls soccer rivalry in the state.

Round Two has already been scheduled for next fall since no winner was determined on the field yesterday.

"We're going to try and get them on our schedule next year," said South River coach Will Pharr, whose eighth-ranked team finished 13-1-3.

That won't be hard.

"We really want to play them badly and we will," said Liberty coach Sam DeLaurence, whose fifth-ranked squad wound up 16-0-3. "We feel like we're the state champions because we were the better team out there. We dominated the game [20-8 in shots and 7-3 in corners] and we played soccer, not hack ball."

Pharr preferred to call it "an old-fahioned physical kind of soccer game."

Liberty's Trish Young was ejected from the game with a "hard" red card with 7: 20 remaining in the first 10-minute overtime period, meaning that she could not be replaced and the Lions had to play the rest of the game with nine field players to 10 for South River.

The Lions' Haley DeLaurence was hit with a yellow card late in regulation but the Liberty players said they were just responding to physical play by South River.

"They [South River] were punching us and we were retaliating," said the highly-skilled Ziegenfuss, who came within inches of winning the game twice late in the first half when she hit the crossbar.

Ziegenfuss, a lightning-quick senior forward who entered the game with 26 goals this season, continued a relentless assault on Graham in the two overtimes with seven shots but couldn't get one in the net.

Three of Ziegenfuss's overtime shots came on direct kicks, with Lorie Zamarripa blocking one of the direct kicks before it got to the goal.

Graham made four saves against Ziegenfuss in the overtimes, one shot sailed over the crossbar and another went wide left.

Graham wound up with 13 saves to record her 14th shutout of the season and drew the admiration of her teammates after the game.

"There was a lot of noise out here from the fans but I just tried to concentrate and be prepared for everything that came my way," said Graham.

"We're taking this game as a tie and not a win even though nobody gave us a chance. Theresa [Beckett] had a couple of chances to score for us and if she sneaks one in, we win."

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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