Surging S. Carroll stops T. Johnson Bolard's goal gives Cavaliers their third straight victory, 1-0

Girls soccer

October 07, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

During the last eight days. South Carroll (6-2) has become a prime example of what happens when a team learns how to win.

It started last Tuesday with a come-from-behind, 2-1 win over Liberty, the defending county and Central Maryland Conference champion. The Cavaliers reinforced it with a 2-0 victory over Liberty in a makeup game Saturday night, and showed up at No. 12 in the metro area poll.

Last night, they showed they mean business with a sparkling 1-0 triumph over visiting and previously unbeaten and unscored upon Thomas Johnson (7-1).

The goal by junior Diana Bolard off an assist from Sandy Lagana came with stunning suddenness just 30 seconds into the second half. From 20 yards out on the left side, Bolard put a high looping shot into the upper right corner, one on which goalkeeper Amy Franciscovich, a freshman, had no play.

For Bolard, who plays club ball with some of the Thomas Johnson players, it will mean bragging rights for a while. "Sandy put the ball right on my foot, I made the turn and fired it," said Bolard, a junior midfielder.

Lagana was wearing No. 99, an honor voted by the team after each game to the outstanding player, but the players may have a tougher time picking their next selection.

On a night like this, there were plenty of heroes. Defender Katie Hancock took one of TJ's top offensive threats, sophomore Molly Merkel, out of the game; junior Kellan Webb distracted playmaker Katie Roberts in the middle, and sophomore defender Leah Onda and senior goalkeeper Amanda Hughes combined to keep things clear in back.

"Practices have been more intense lately, and that helped, because TJ put up a lot of pressure," said Onda, who time and again was able to get the ball out of the box.

For the ever-dependable Hughes, a four-year starter whose diving deflection of a shot on goal preserved the win in the final three minutes, it was her fifth shutout of the season, and improved her school record to 24.

Prior to this one, the Patriots had won 15 in a row over two seasons, including a 3-0 decision over Liberty last week. "When these two teams play, it is always very intense, and you can credit South Carroll with this one," said TJ coach Chuck Nichols, whose team had scored its first victory over the Cavs last year, 5-2.

"Our learning started right after the Westminster game," said South Carroll coach Jim Horn, of a game his team probably should have won, but lost, 3-2. "We picked up the intensity in practice and these kids responded to it. You could really notice it with them.

"Here, at halftime, I asked how many thought we could win before the game started, and about half the hands went up. Then I asked how many now think we can win, and all the hands shot up. You can't teach players how to win -- it has to be experienced -- and last year [6-4-4] we didn't do it."

They did it this time, though, as South Carroll, led by midfielder Jodi Baier, pressured the ball all over the field.

Pub Date: 10/07/98

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