Vikings put Bel Air on defensive Mount Hebron rolls, 2-0

Hoffman, Otto preserve victory with saves at end

Field hockey

September 16, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Even though No. 12 Bel Air played the more defensive game against visiting Mount Hebron yesterday, the No. 10 Vikings came away with the shutout.

Vikings goalie Katelyn Hoffman and midfielder Lauren Otto each saved a shot in the final three minutes to preserve a 2-0 win at Bel Air. Sweeper Becky Phillips and backs Jen Donatelli and Tammi Slater also made key contributions while Katie Jeschke and Polly Purcell scored the goals.

But the Vikings (3-0) won this game between the 25-yard lines, where they were quick to the free balls while Bel Air (2-1) seemed tentative. At times, the Vikings were rushing to the ball and the Bobcats were falling back waiting to play defense.

The Vikings, state Class 2A finalists last year, took advantage early as Leigh Langmead carried the ball in from the right and fired across the circle to Jeschke. Jeschke worked the ball a couple seconds for an open shot and the goal less than four minutes into the game.

Bobcats forward Jacque LaFleur said her team may have been a little intimidated by the Vikings' quickness. It didn't help to fall behind so quickly.

"After they scored, we realized something on defense wasn't clicking, so we all got defensive minded and our offense suffered a little bit," said LaFleur, a second-team All-Metro pick last year.

Not that the Bobcats didn't have chances. They outshot the Vikings, 9-3, but almost all of their shots were clustered in the middle of the first half and at the beginning and end of the second.

LaFleur, who had two shots in the first half, opened the second half with another, but the Vikings defense cleared it.

The Vikings added their second goal with 15: 38 left in the game on a terrific individual effort by Purcell. The junior forward worked the ball into the circle and with her back to the goal, turned and sent a sharp pass toward the middle of the cage. No one touched it and it rolled between Bobcats goalie Marci Judges' feet.

"I was just hoping to dodge and get the ball in there for people to rush it off the pads, but it went in," said Purcell. "I was hoping one of the other forwards could get a shot on goal."

About five minutes later, the Bobcats threatened but couldn't get to a loose ball sitting about three feet in front of the cage. Donatelli finally cleared the ball sparking a Vikings break.

The Bobcats came closest to scoring in the final minutes on two LaFleur shots and a third by Meghan McAndrew.

LaFleur's first shot was a rocket from about five yards out that Hoffman saved. Her second came after a long hit off the sideline, but Otto cleared it away. McAndrew's final attempt carried wide.

"We just kind of lost track of where everybody was," said Donatelli, of the last-minute Vikings defensive lapse. "I was trying to mark [LaFleur] and all the sudden she was on the other side of me and she shot. Thank God it didn't go in."

The Vikings will face their stiffest competition yet at Roland Park's Sally Nyborg Invitational Tournament on Saturday. They are scheduled to meet No. 1 Severna Park at 11: 30 a.m.

Pub Date: 9/16/98

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