Arundel holds off determined Chesapeake No. 3 Wildcats score twice in final 10 minutes, win, 2-0

Girls soccer

September 10, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The third-ranked Arundel Wildcats are learning fast that soccer opponents are coming after them harder than ever this season.

Following last year's coming-out party -- which included their first county championship, a trip to the state final and a 16-2 record -- the Wildcats understand the increased expectations.

Yesterday afternoon's task in Gambrills was to fend off a determined No. 11 Chesapeake-AA team.

It wasn't easy, but the Wildcats broke from a scoreless tie to score twice in the final 10 minutes and win, 2-0.

Junior midfielder Rebecca Beardsley was in the middle of the scoring and junior goalkeeper Erin Hartman was strong off the bench after senior starter Mandy Schulz bruised a knee late in the first half.

After an even first half, the result of the physical play of the visiting Cougars, the Wildcats (2-0-1) returned to their finesse game and were able to break through when senior Andrea Knight scored off a corner kick from Beardsley, who added nifty insurance goal a minute later off a direct kick just outside the Chesapeake penalty area.

"We didn't show all our skills in the first half. Chesapeake forced us into their physical game," Arundel coach Tom Degner said. "In the second half, we played more forceful and just put it in -- that's what counts. We have to take them as they come -- especially against a good team like Chesapeake."

The Wildcats gradually took over midway through the second half and took the 1-0 lead when Knight's shot deflected off a Chesapeake defender and into the right corner.

Less than a minute later, Arundel junior forward Kelly Jordan was dragged down just outside the penalty area along the left side.

Beardsley made the most of the free kick by bending a shot around the wall to find the top right corner.

"We knew we had to keep our focus and really get our stuff together [in the second half]," Beardsley said. "Everyone tried real hard and no one let down."

Chesapeake had its chances late in the first half and early in the second but couldn't get anything past Schulz or Hartman, who was tested soon after entering.

With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Stacey Hughes slipped behind the Arundel defense, but her shot was turned aside by Hartman, who cut down the angle.

"Erin made some great saves. It's so important for the team confidence-wise to have a nice keeper back there and we have that," Degner said.

Pub Date: 9/10/97

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