North Carroll closes out Catonsville, 3-0, takes regional jTC championship Pair of late 1st-half goals assure state-tourney trip

Field hockey

November 06, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

North Carroll started slowly, then scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the first half and went on to win the Class 3A North regional championship, 3-0, at Catonsville yesterday.

The winners totaled eight goals in their string of three successive regional shutouts behind junior goalkeeper Devan Bosley.

The victory sent the Panthers (14-1) to the state semifinals for the seventh time, the first time since 1994. They will meet Montgomery County's Walter Johnson (11-4), which defeated Damascus for the West title, 3-0.

Seniors Meredith Gill and Jessica Bradford gave North Carroll a 2-0 lead with goals in the final 10 minutes of the half, and Bradford added the third one halfway through the second half.

Senior Katie Mullinix assisted on the first two, and senior Erin German on the third. Bradford's goals raised her county-leading total to 16.

"For the first 10 minutes, we were getting beaten to the ball, but once we got that straightened out [during a timeout], we started to dominate them," said North Carroll coach Denean Koontz. "Maybe we were tentative at the start, and it took awhile to adjust to the conditions.

"As has been the case all year, everybody contributed, and we moved the ball well."

Of the winners, Catonsville coach Kathy Schuyler said, "They are very disciplined, and their positioning was tremendous. We knew they were that good."

But Schuyler and her team had to think of what might have been. Junior Erin Coberth, a starting midfielder and the team leader, was lost to a left-knee injury near the end of Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Wilde Lake and was scheduled for tests yesterday to determine the damage.

"I don't want to take anything away from North Carroll, but I couldn't just replace her," Schuyler explained. "We had to make some changes, talk to the players about it, and [in the game] there were some holes that shouldn't have been."

North Carroll was without one of its starters, too, but Koontz played down the loss of junior Misty MacMillan, whose right ankle was injured during practice Wednesday. Senior Julie Copoulas played well in her absence.

"We've played together for so long we just seem to know where each other are," Mullinix said of her two crosses from the wing that set up the goals by Bradford from the middle of the circle. She has five assists for the year.

"The field was a little hard to get used to [a rough surface and more dirt than at home] but things went better after coach took that early timeout," Mullinix said.

North Carroll won a state title in 1977 and was a finalist in 1978, 1986 and 1987. Walter Johnson was a semifinal loser to Fallston last year in its first state-tournament trip.

Pub Date: 11/06/98

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