Hammond battles back, but falls to Seton Keough

Bears tie with 2: 53 left, but Sokol's goal wins game

Girls lacrosse

March 23, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

It was only the first game. But clearly first-year coach Emily Walker expected her Hammond team to play better than it showed yesterday against Seton Keough.

"I am disappointed. I certainly thought we would win," said Walker after watching visiting Seton Keough pull out a 7-6 victory. "We didn't put it together they way we should have. We didn't execute."

Walker was pleased that her team battled back from a 6-2 second-half deficit to tie the game on Dara Liberati's third goal with 2: 53 to play. But she was concerned by her team's lack of aggressiveness that allowed Seton Keough to take an early 2-0 lead.

Libby Schmehling scored 18 seconds into the game and Kerry O'Connell added another goal 19 seconds later.

"We just weren't awake," Walker said. "We waited 10 minutes to start playing, and by that time they had the momentum. I think we gave them confidence they didn't have."

Freshman Lindsay Buckingham scored to cut Hammond's deficit to one, but O'Connell added two more goals for a 4-1 Seton Keough lead with 10: 58 left. Liberati, a junior, scored with 10 seconds remaining to make it a two-goal game at halftime.

"We didn't start out well," Liberati said. "We just weren't in the game. We weren't pumped up."

As a result, the Golden Bears allowed Seton Keough to control most ground balls.

"We weren't rushing to the ball," Liberati said. "We were letting them pick it up."

Schmehling started the second half like the first, scoring 23 seconds into play. Sarah Bach added another goal for a 6-2 lead with 22: 53 remaining.

Hammond suddenly found its offense, and goals by Liberati, Stacey Umburger and Lindsay Greer made it a 6-5 game with 20: 10 to play. Seventeen minutes went by before Liberati tied the game.

Kerry Sokol scored the game-winner with 2: 53 left. She intercepted a clearing pass from junior goalie Rachel Donohue, then raced in unchecked.

"They beat us to ground balls and we waisted opportunities on offense. That's why we lost," said Walker, who was without last year's top returning scorer, Katie Fink (sprained right ankle). "We need to improve on our basics, including moving the ball better and taking quality shots on offense."

Walker also is still searching for the right combinations. "We have a lot of players who are at the same level," Walker said. "I'm trying to find where they are most effective."

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