Gaertner, No. 8 River Hill defeat No. 13 Loch Raven Second-year Hawks face South River in 2A/3A final

November 11, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Eighth-ranked River Hill played a strong second half and used a Kathy Gaertner goal to score a 1-0 victory over No. 13 Loch Raven in the Class 2A-3A state semifinal last night at Catonsville Community College.

River Hill (15-2), in only its second year, will meet No. 10 South River (14-2) in Saturday's state final at Dundalk Community College. South River topped Middletown, 2-0, in the other semifinal last night.

Loch Raven (12-4-1) won the Class 1A-2A title last year.

River Hill and Loch Raven played even much of the first half in their game. Despite outshooting the Raiders, 6-3, in that half, River Hill came up with few scoring chances.

That changed in the final 40 minutes. River Hill controlled play from the beginning, outshooting Loch Raven, 10-0, and taking the lead when Gaertner fired a 15-yard shot that bounced off the far post and in with 36: 18 left.

"I wasn't sure if it was going in," she said. "I beat one girl, and then I was wide open, [and] no one stepped up on me."

River Hill kept the pressure on throughout the half. Clearing the ball became an adventure for Loch Raven. The Raiders had superior speed, but could do little to move the ball around and spark the offense.

The Hawks wound up outshooting Loch Raven, 16-3, and controlling the ball and play for much of the game. River Hill also had a few other good scoring chances, but couldn't finish.

Loch Raven had the best first-half opportunities. Speedy Nicole Wartman broke in alone later in the half, but goalie Megan Wright stopped her. The ball bounced back, and Wartman got off a soft shot that Natalie Klisas cleared out of danger.

But River Hill began controlling play late in the first half, and the second half belonged to the Hawks.

"I told them that they weren't playing their game in the first half," said River Hill coach Cynthia Odell. "I told them that they needed to play their game and needed to control the game."

South River 2, Middletown 0

Heather Collison and Nichoal Zamarripa ensured that No. 8 South River will get a chance to defend its state title by scoring a goal apiece in a victory over Middletown in a Class 2A-3A state semifinal last night at Catonsville Community College.

South River (14-2) tied Liberty for the Class 2A-3A state title last year.

The Seahawks had heard some whispers that their tie with Liberty in last year's title game was a fluke, and they wanted to prove a point this season -- something they've done.

"I feel that last year we took our program to another level," said South River coach Will Pharr. "We're always looking to go higher and farther."

The Seahawks took control early against Middletown (15-3). They pressured the Knights several times in the opening minutes and Collison scored 10: 13 into the game after she beat goalie Aryn McCumber to a ball in front after it squirted into the box.

The Seahawks stretched it to 2-0 when Zamarripa scored with just 5: 30 left in the game. That goal came on a set play when South River had a direct kick in the Middletown box.

Defender Eryn Belt pushed the ball to the right of the wall, and Zamarripa fired a perfectly-placed shot past goalie McCumber and just inside the far post.

Belt and goalie Erin Graham sparked a defense that did not allow a good Middletown team many chances. Lorie Zamarripa, Nancy Tucker and Angie Beckett ( one assist) helped mark and shut down Meghan Marcantonio and Anne Rieser, who combined for 25 goals and 23 assists entering the game.

Pub Date: 11/11/97

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