North Carroll will be making its second appearance in the state girls soccer playoffs tomorrow night, when the Panthers face Bel Air at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring in the second game of the Class 3A semifinals.
Broadneck and Leonardtown will open the Montgomery County doubleheader at 5 p.m.
The only other time North Carroll reached this level was in 1991, when it lost to eventual champion Hammond in another semifinal.
This will be Bel Air's second trip, too. The Bobcats lost to South River, 2-1, in the 1996 Class 2A-3A semifinals. South River and Liberty shared that title after going scoreless through two overtimes in the final.
North Carroll advanced Tuesday with a 3-2 upset of visiting Thomas Johnson, and Bel Air moved out Wednesday with a 4-0 conquest of visiting Dundalk.
The two teams met in the championship game of the Bel Air tournament earlier this season, with the Bobcats winning, 2-1, on penalty kicks.
North Carroll (10-5-2), directed by fourth-year coach Jim MacDonald, rebounded from that to go 6-1-2 the rest of the regular season, losing to Thomas Johnson, 3-0, and tying Urbana, 1-1, and South Carroll, 0-0.
For the 12 non-losses, junior goalkeeper Beth Reeb allowed 13 goals, and in the five losses, 15 goals. Senior sweeper Kellyn Hentz heads the defensive corps.
At the other end, senior midfielder Stephanie Rogers is the leading scorer with 13 goals, second in the county to Westminster junior Mandy Komar, who had 14. Rogers is complemented by classmate Danielle Shearer (they combined for the three goals in the win over TJ). Hentz, Rogers, and Shearer are four-year regulars.
No. 6-ranked Bel Air (15-1-2) lost its opener to Mercy, 2-0, tied Sparrows Point in its second, 1-1, and Parkville midway through the season. Other than that, it has been all wins for coach Bill Zimmerman's team.
The Bobcats' scoring has been spread around, topped by Kristi Eyler (12 goals, one assist) and Adrienne Justus (10 goals, six assists). In outscoring four regional opponents 15-1, Eyler had four goals, and Justus had three.
Senior sweeper Nikki Hentz heads a stellar defense that includes backs Emily Neubeck and Jen Chumley, and goalkeeper Lindsay Bugda. The Harford County team did not allow a goal in its county games.
Liberty (12-4), defending Class 3A regional champion, will be looking for a repeat against visiting Thomas Johnson (14-3) at 6: 30 tonight.
In the semifinals, coach Dave Trumbo's Lions had an emotional five-game victory over North Carroll; Thomas Johnson outlasted South Carroll, 3-1, the third successive four-game triumph for coach Jim Dorsch's Patriots, who had earlier defeated Walter Johnson and Damascus.
Kellyanne Rose and Michelle Dorsch are among the Frederick school's leaders. Rose, a strong net player, had 16 kills and six blocks against Walter Johnson and nine kills and 12 service points at South Carroll. Dorsch's contributions included 18 assists against Walter Johnson, and 13 points and 21 assists against the Cavs.
Abby Barnett, Stephanie Wilder, Jen Bruce, and Beth Modracek were the mainstays for Liberty. Barnett's night included team highs of 22 kills and six blocks in an all-around performance.
Last year's first-round matchup is this year's final in Class 4A East: Severna Park (16-1), ranked No. 1 in the metro area, visits Westminster (8-8) at 6 tonight.
The home team, the only non-Anne Arundel County school in the region, got this far with wins over Meade (3-0) and Arundel (3-1). Severna Park beat Glen Burnie, 3-1, and Old Mill, 3-0.
Westminster's leaders include seniors Abbie Cornett, Kelly McShane, and Theresa Schmitz. Severna Park has been getting stellar play from Traci Sariscak, who had 17 kills and 16 service points against Glen Burnie, backed by Sarah Grimm, who was fighting the flu earlier in the week, Tracy Johnston, and Lauren Boyd.
Carroll County seniors who have taken advantage of the current period for early collegiate signing this week are Danielle Shearer, North Carroll, headed for Notre Dame on a scholarship for girls lacrosse, and Kevin Damiano, South Carroll, going to Penn State on a baseball scholarship.
Pub Date: 11/13/98