Three county teams earn berths in state semifinals



Centennial won Howard County's only state title in field hockey in 1995. Four years later, the Eagles could have company.

Three county teams - Long Reach in Class 3A, Mount Hebron in Class 2A and Glenelg in Class 1A - have advanced to tomorrow's state semifinals at Goucher College.

"I cant remember that ever happening," said Gleneig veteran coach Ginger Kincaid about three county teams in the state tournament. "That's really neat."

Kincaid credited Don Disney, county coordinator of athletics, with improwng the sport. "I think Don has made a real commitment to hockey with the bermuda grass fields," Kincaid said. "It's definitely brought the level of hockey up in the county"

Four schools - Hammond, Long Reach, River Hill and Wilde Lake - have bermuda surfaces, and three more - Centennial, Oakland Mills, Atholton - are scheduled for next season.

In tomorrow's semifinals. Long Reach (12-2-2) plays Calvert, and Mount Hebron (10-5-2) takes on Hereford at 12:30 p m. Glenelg meets Washington at 2:45 p.m.

The Lightning advanced with a 2-0 win over North Carroll in the Class 3A North region; Mount Hebron edged Hammond, 1-0, in the Class 2A South; and Glenelg surprised Poolesville, 2-0, in the Class 1A West.

Long Reach will be making its first trip to Goucher since the school opened in 1996. This is Mount Hebron's third straight trip to the tournament, and fifth overall. The Vikings lost in the finals two years ago and in the semi-finals last season. Glenelg has been to the tournament five previous times, starting in 1979 its last trip was in 1992.

"It's been 20 years since we've been to the state final," Kincaid said "I wanted to get to the tournament, but now I'm greedy. I want to get to the final game."

The Gladiators had been eliminated in the playoffs the past two years by Poolesville, losing both times by 2-0 scores. Last Friday, goals by Kelly O'Connor and Elizabeth Narron produced the same score for the Gladiators.

"You have to credit everyone with this one," Kincaid said. "We were challenged quite a bit. We just took advantage of the opportunities we had to score."

Girls soccer

* Tuesday's Hammond-Mount Hebron Class 2A South region championship should be a good one. In their first meeting Oct 5, Hammond's Melissa Workman scored early but shortly thereafter received a red card, leaving the Golden Bears a player down for most of the game Julie Broden tied the game for the Vikings, and Julie Napolitano scored the game-winner with five minutes left.

"I'm looking forward to playing them again," said Workman, whose goal with 15 minutes left gave Hammond a 1-0 win over defending Class 2A state champion Centennial last Friday.

Hammond coach Pete Di Marco said the Golden Bears (10-5-1), last year's Class 1A state champions, played well against Centennial, and credited the play and leadership of senior midfielders Meg Tilley and Martha Bielfeld as key reasons why.

Di Marco also praised his young defense "They played outstanding," Di Marco said.

The defensive unit, led by sophomore goalie Tara Zammichieli, had to undergo some changes when starting sweeper Sarah Walker suffered a serious knee injury Oct. 5 in the game against Mount Hebron and was lost for the season.

Sophomore Ashley Pietryka moved from left marking back to sweeper, and sophomore Megan Blair, who was coming off the bench as a midfielder, became a stater at Pietryka's position, Sophomores Jenny Osborn (right back) and Jacqueline Bielefeld (stopper) also start.

Hammond senior forward Katie Fink, who broke her fibula in her right leg Sept. 28 against Wilde Lake, returned for the first time and played about 15 minutes against the Eagles.

"I was definitely in some pain, but I tried to ignore it," Fink said. "I was so happy to be back out there. I just wanted to help my team High school soccer is such a big thing in my life."

Centennial coach Mike Senisi, whose team got two early goals and beat the Golden Bears on Oct 1, wasn't making any excuses.

"It was a really good game. Both teams played well," said Senisi, whose team is the only one to beat River Hill this season. "We had chances, and so did they. They made the best of their opportunities, and we didn't'.

Soccer playoffs at Howard

Here's the lineup for regional final soccer doubleheaders at Howard High:

Tuesday: 5 p.m., Class 2A South girls -- Mount Hebron vs. Hammond, 7 p m. - Class 2A South boys, Mount Hebron vs Centennial.

Wednesday: 5 p.m., Class 1A South girls - Catoctin vs. Gleneig; 7 p.m., Class 3A East girls - South River vs River Hill.

Admission is $4.

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