North Carroll coach Jim MacDonald spent part of halftime yesterday telling his team it still had a chance against visiting Thomas Johnson. Despite watching the Patriots dominate the first 40 minutes, North Carroll hung tough and trailed by only one at the break.
But Thomas Johnson quickly removed all doubt in the second half, scoring four times en route to a 5-1 victory over North Carroll in a Central Maryland Conference game.
Thomas Johnson (11-1-1, 5-1-1) scored four goals in the first 25 minutes of the second half -- including a three-goal blitz in a stretch of 6: 28 early in the half.
Samantha Meyers scored two goals and had one assist for the Patriots. Tanya Dudrow had a goal and an assist. Mollie Merkel scored a goal, as did Lyn Brennan.
"It just kind of snowballed," said MacDonald. "We knew Thomas Johnson was going to be tough, and we had to play hard and tough and we did neither."
Thomas Johnson used its superior speed and ball-handling to create a number of scoring chances. The Patriots outshot the Panthers, 17-5, and kept the pressure on throughout.
Midfielders Meyers and Ashley Hull did a great job of winning balls and turning them back upfield. In addition, they made numerous pinpoint passes that set up scoring chances.
"They are two of the best midfielders in the state," said Thomas Johnson coach Chuck Nichols. "They enable us to utilize our speed."
Meyers scored the first-half goal, and North Carroll (6-3-2, 2-2-1) applied some early second-half pressure, but the Patriots quickly took charge.
Dudrow touched a nice diagonal pass to Merkel, who put a 10-yard shot past goalie Beth Reeb with 31: 09 left.
The Patriots stretched it to 3-0 when Meyers sent a lead pass that let Dudrow to break away and score with 27: 01 remaining. But Thomas Johnson kept going, getting a fourth goal on a Meyers penalty kick just 2: 20 later following a hand ball violation in the box.
Brennan notched the final score with 15: 17 remaining, firing a shot that Reeb got her hands on but still rolled over the line.
Emily Gomez scored the North Carroll's goal with 1: 38 left after a Kristina Thompson assist.
"They got to most of the balls," said Gomez. "They're a very FTC good passing team, and I didn't think we came out quite so prepared for how good they were."
Pub Date: 10/15/97