Broadneck tests Annapolis, but Panthers eek out a `W'

Oliphant's two late goals stop Bruins' upset bid, 7-6

Girls lacrosse

April 21, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Defending state champ Annapolis always can count on some kind of test from neighboringBroadneck.

Some years may be a quiz, and others may be tougher. Yesterday's visit to Broadneck was more like a final exam for the Panthers.

No. 5-ranked Annapolis didn't pass until sophomore Sarah Oliphant scored with 4: 24 left, providing the Panthers with a 7-6 win against a No. 12 Bruins team that showed it, indeed, belongs with the county's elite teams.

"This one had a state playoff-caliber feel to it," said Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes, whose Panthers improved to 9-0 on the season. "Broadneck is a good team. They were fired up and did a nice job. This is the kind of competition everyone needs for playoff time."

It took a half that included eight often sparkling saves from junior goalie Ellie Franz (15 for the game) and strong interior defense for the Bruins (7-2) to realize they could play with the Panthers.

Trailing only 3-2 at the half despite being outshot 15-4 in the first 25 minutes, the Bruins returned a different team.

"There was a little intimidation factor there, because they are state champions," said Broadneck coach Karen Chesley. "The girls have to learn they can be competitive against these teams. After the close first half, we realized we can do just that."

When freshman Brooke Richards flashed into the middle, taking a feed from Megan Kennedy, and scored her third goal of the game with 7: 09 left, the Bruins had their second one-goal lead of the half at 6-5.

But 20 seconds later, Oliphant took over.

First, she scored on a pass from sophomore Kristy Dirks (three goals, one assist) to tie the score.

A couple minutes later, she worked out of a double team in the right corner and from in front beat Franz low for the game-winner.

"They were definitely ready for us, and I thought we were ready, too. But they surprised us," said Oliphant, who now has 29 goals and 16 assists this season. "They were swarming on defense and double-teaming the ball every opportunity they had."

After gaining the lead, the Panthers got possession and played keep-away behind the Broadneck cage to run out the clock.

Broadneck's defense, led by Franz, Rachel Shuck, Justyn Kopack and Michelle Lare, allowed only half the 14-plus goals the Panthers had been averaging.

Peck and Heather Bryce both registered a goal and an assist for the Bruins, as did Acacia Walker for the Panthers.

Pub Date: 4/21/99

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