Key boys face test vs. Glenelg

Eagles, Liberty girls seeking regional titles in lacrosse games today

Notebook

High Schools

May 17, 2000|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

While the Liberty girls lacrosse team strives for its fifth regional title in seven tries today, the Francis Scott Key boys squad will attempt to capture the first regional championship in the program's three-year history.

The Eagles will play host to Glenelg at 7 tonight in Union Bridge for the right to earn the Class 3A-2A-1A West Region crown.

Francis Scott Key (10-7) could not have picked a tougher opponent in the Gladiators, who were Class 2A-1A Region finalists last season and are 14-4 thus far.

Glenelg, which is powered by senior attack Zach McQuigg, defeated Liberty, North Carroll and South Carroll earlier this year by a margin of 29-18.

"They're a well-balanced, well-disciplined team," Eagles coach John Baugher said of the Gladiators. "We will have to play to the best of our ability to give them a game."

Francis Scott Key's most potent weapon is its offense, which is led by senior attack Nathan Krida (62 goals, 21 assists), senior attack Justin Merson (45, 36) and senior midfielder Sean Todd (28, 24).

Meanwhile, 13th-ranked Liberty (14-2) will be playing C. Milton Wright (12-5), which beat Bel Air, 9-6, in a Class 4A-3A North Region game yesterday.

The Lions have won their region the past two years.

The Mustangs, who will visit Liberty for a 4 p.m. contest today, are a familiar foe.

C. Milton Wright split last season's series with the Lions, who won the rubber match in the state semifinals. This year, Liberty thrashed the Mustangs, 13-4, on March 31 in Bel Air.

The Lions have outscored their opposition, 292-90, and much of the offensive punch has come from senior midfielder Jessica Roguski (51 goals, 20 assists), senior attack Michelle Allen (46, 41) and sophomore attack Becky Trumbo (48, 36).

Sophomore goalkeeper Kim Hastings boasts a 57 percent save ratio, and of the 266 draw controls the team has won, Roguski owns 118 of those draws.

But Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn said the gaudy numbers don't necessarily translate into a regional - or a state - title.

"People around here expect it, but you can get beat any day," Vaughn said. "We're ready to go. They're excited to play some good competition."

Regional matchups

Three area teams will put their region title hopes on the line today.

The North Carroll baseball and softball teams will travel to Frederick to face Thomas Johnson in a Class 3A West semifinal at 4 p.m., while the Francis Scott Key softball squad will visit Walkersville in a Class 2A West semifinal at 4 p.m.

The Panthers' baseball team split its regular-season series with the Patriots, who finished tied for fourth with North Carroll in the Central Maryland Conference.

The Panthers (10-11) outslugged Thomas Johnson, 17-14, in Hampstead on March 31, but the Patriots (9-11) returned the favor by winning a 9-2 decision at home on April 27.

Hoping to avoid a repeat of the last meeting, North Carroll coach Denny Snyder will start senior right-handed pitcher Nate Miller, who was the winning pitcher in the 17-14 win.

"They play like a different team when he's on the field," Snyder said of Miller, who is 6-1. "We can beat anybody with Nate on the mound."

The No. 15 Panthers softball squad also split its regular-season series with Thomas Johnson, winning a 4-1 game in Hampstead, but losing, 7-2, in Frederick.

The Patriots (17-5) shared the Central Maryland Conference championship with Westminster. North Carroll (14-6) lost five of its past seven regular-season contests.

But coach Lloyd Ford said two solid wins in the postseason have turned the team around.

"It's been well-noted that we struggled towards the end of the year, but the girls have really come together since then," Ford said.

North Carroll will start right-hander Lisa Tunney on the mound.

Morale is high at Francis Scott Key, where the softball team advanced to the semifinals by upending Middletown, 2-0, on Monday.

The Knights had defeated the Eagles twice in three days two weeks ago, but Francis Scott Key had the last laugh.

Now the Eagles (13-6) face a Walkersville squad that is the reigning Class 2A state and the Monocacy Valley Athletic League champ and swept Francis Scott Key this season.

Eagles coach Joe Linthicum said the difference could be his team's ability to eliminate errors.

"No errors - it's that simple," said Linthicum, who will start junior right-handed pitcher Meredith Carter (10-3). "We can't give Walkersville four or more outs in an inning because they are just too good of a team."

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