A Day Of Big Games

Today's schedule features a number of ranked matchups worth a look

High Schools

September 28, 2001

Volleyball

No. 2 Dulaney at No. 1 Severna Park

This non-league showdown (5:15 p.m.) between perennial powers could be a preview of the Class 3A state final. Dulaney of Baltimore County has won the last two Class 4A championships, and Severna Park of Anne Arundel County has won five state titles, the last time in 1993. "We're confident, we're excited, but we know that Dulaney is good," said first-year Severna Park coach Julie Allen. "Both teams are going to have to play their best to win."

Severna Park earned much of that confidence with victories over No. 4 Towson and Northern of Calvert, which was ranked No. 3 in the Washington area at the time.

"We played Towson and Calvert and both were very tough teams," said Allen, who as an All-Metro hitter and Anne Arundel County Player of the Year at Severna Park in 1995, her senior season. "I think the girls gained a lot of confidence by winning those matches. They could have gone either way."

Severna Park has an excellent setter in Megan Boyd and some top-notch hitters -- senior Lauren Klau (6-1), Christina Grempler (6-3) and Robin Koethcke (5-10) and sophomore Lynn Cipollone (5-8). Klau and Grempler have verbally committed to Towson University.

Dulaney is led by junior setter Bruna Fonseca and senior hitters Veronica Briggs and Kristin Schmidt (5-10). Briggs is only 5-6 but has a vertical leap of 25 inches.

"What we're looking for is consistency," said Dulaney coach Ian Blanchard. "It's something that we've lacked a little bit in practice and in matches."

Dulaney still is without junior Jennifer Wylie, a standout outside/middle hitter who has a broken left foot and has not played this season.

Dulaney moved three spots to the No. 2 ranking -- and allowed Severna Park to become the top-ranked team -- when it upset then No. 1 Centennial in four games last week.

"If the team that shows up [today] is the same one that played Centennial, then I like our chances against anybody," Blanchard said. "But if that team doesn't show up, we're as vulnerable as any team out there."-- Stan Rappaport

Boys soccer

No. 3 River Hill at No. 1 Oakland Mills

Two of the state's most successful soccer coaches, who have known each other since their own playing days in the Pittsburgh area and were the best man at each other's wedding, will match wits today when Oakland Mills (0-0-1) hosts River Hill (2-0-1).

River Hill's Bill Stara (285-34-14) has coached an unprecedented 10 state championship teams, three at River Hill and seven at Centennial.

Oakland Mills' Don Shea (257-69-22) has coached eight state champs, seven at Oakland Mills and one at Elkton.

Stara's teams have dominated the series between the coaches for the past 10 years, going 7-1-2 and outscoring Shea's teams, 16-2. Oakland Mills was shut out in nine of those games.

But from 1988 through 1990, Shea's teams won four and tied one, including two regional championship victories over Stara's teams.

Both coaches stress defense, and neither team has allowed a goal this seaon.

River Hill's defense is led by goalkeeper Dave Marquart and sweeper Brian Heinz. The Hawks are led at midfield by Matt Boras and Spencer Hannas. And midfielder Jason Finey scored two game-winning goals against Urbana (1-0) and Long Reach (9-0). The Hawks tied DeMatha, 0-0.

Oakland Mills returns seven starters, but graduated its top two scorers. Second-team All-Met sweeper Brandon Hawkes and Gabe Amponsah lead a defense that is intact from last season. The Scorpions tied Glenelg, 0-0, and have had four postponements.-- Rick Belz

Girl soccer

No. 4 John Carroll at No. 3 St Mary's

This 4 p.m. matchup at Germantown Fields in Annapolis will feature and high-scoring offense against a stellar defense.

Led by seven-goal scorers in senior midfielder Kelly Hammond and junior striker Mary Key, the Saints (7-1 overall, 2-0 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland's A Conference) have outscored their opponents, 38-3. Among the teams they've defeated are Class 4A state champion Severna Park, then ranked sixth, and Class 3A state semifinalist Thomas Johnson.

John Carroll defeated the Saints by 2-0 last season, and St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin said he expects the Patriots again will use eight defenders in the box.

"We didn't do very well against that defense," Tobin said. "The key for us will be penetrating what I suspect will be a packed-in defense."

That defense -- spearheaded by freshman goalkeeper Andrea Gaeta and senior backs Morgan Russell, Kerry Van Shura, and Mary Kathryn Sullivan and junior back Shannon Seipp -- has propelled John Carroll to an 8-1 overall record and a 4-0 mark in the conference.

Powered by junior striker Mairead Gordon's nine points and freshman striker Ashley Myers's team-high five goals, the Patriots have defeated five teams ranked in the top 15.

But John Carroll coach Gary Lynch said St. Mary's will pose a different challenge.

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