Take that, Franklin, a Middletown win, 2-0 'In-your-face' Indians ousted by same method

November 06, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

All season long, the Franklin Indians dominated Baltimore County competition with an in-your-face style, beating opponents to loose balls and pushing the tempo. Though everyone knew what was coming, most times the game plan still worked.

Yesterday in the Class 2A-3A West region final, Middletown coach John Miller also said he was well aware of what the Indians had in store. Only this time, his team beat them to the punch.

The quicker Knights outshot Franklin, 20-5, scoring a goal in each half en route to a 2-0 victory, ending the best season in the Reisterstown school's history.

"It was the kind of style we felt we had to play against this team," said Miller. "They're pretty much an up-in-your-face, right-at-you style team, so we decided we'd just come right back at them with the same type of philosophy."

Said Franklin coach George Wagner: "They were the better team today -- there was no one or two ways about that. The way they were playing is generally how we play, but we just didn't get to the balls."

The Knights (16-2) from Frederick County advanced to the state semifinals at Catonsville Community College, where they will face ninth-ranked South River Saturday at a time to be determined. The 11-time Monocacy Valley Athletic League champions have now won 14 of their past 15 games, and will be searching for their first state title since 1990.

Though Franklin (11-4-1) stayed competitive early, it didn't take long for Middletown to gain control.

After each team missed out on prime scoring opportunities, the Knights took a 1-0 lead with 2 minutes, 44 seconds to play in the first half. Meghan Marcantonio fed Anne Rieser, whose header beat goalkeeper Candice Doten to her left.

Just 1: 45 into the second half, the visitors extended their lead to 2-0. Rieser sent a cross across the goal mouth to Kate Waeber, who scored from the right side.

Led by All-Metro midfielder Sara Gustafson, the Indians mounted an attack in the final 10 minutes, but shots by Lindsay Sproul and Lynnea Finch were off the mark.

The win was the Knights' 10th shutout in 18 games, and, by far, the most satisfying, the players agreed.

"We won a division championship, had a chance for the county and had a chance for the region," said Wagner, whose Franklin team will return all but two seniors next year. "Hopefully, we'll be able to pick it up for next year."

No. 5 Dulaney 3, Patterson 0: The host Lions (16-1) lost only two points on the way to an easy win in the Class 4A North semifinal. Dulaney finished with 24 aces in 45 service attempts, with Jody Costa and Melanie Heagy leading the way with five apiece. Dulaney plays at Perry Hall at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

Pub Date: 11/06/97

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