OT win puts history on side of Hammond girls soccer team


Similar Centennial upset helped Bears to '98 title

October 02, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

If history is any indicator, big things can be expected from the Hammond girls soccer team this season.

Hammond, which wasn't expected to be a county power, is off to its best start (7-0) since 1998, when the Bears went 17-1-1 and won a state championship under coach Pete DiMarco.

Hammond proved it was the real deal Friday, knocking off then-No. 8-ranked Centennial, 3-2, in double overtime on a goal from sophomore Jessica Basso. Perhaps coincidentally, it was a 3-2 overtime victory over Centennial in 1998 - the Bears' first defeat of the Eagles in a decade - that helped spur them on to a state title that season.

"I think the biggest difference from last year for us is the maturity factor," said DiMarco, whose team was 7-9 last year. "We don't have any major superstars, but our nine seniors have made us very composed and unified."

Hammond, which went six consecutive games last year without a goal, hasn't had similar problems this season. With 23 goals through seven games, Hammond has nearly eclipsed last year's scoring mark, when the Bears found the net only 25 times, 10 of those coming in a victory over Lackey in the 2A South Region playoffs.

Senior Melissa Workman has led the way with nine goals, and teammate Lauren Nuffer has provided punch with six goals. Goalie Tara Zammichieli has been solid in net as well.

Hammond, which moved up to No. 7 in the rankings, will get another big test today at No. 6 Mount Hebron.

Napolitano to Virginia

Mount Hebron soccer player Julie Napolitano, a two-time Sun All-Metro selection and member of the U-18 women's national team, has committed orally to play for the University of Virginia next fall.

Napolitano is part of a stellar recruiting class for the Cavaliers, which includes St. Mary's forward Kelly Hammond and Noelle Keselica of Watkins Mill.

"I kind of had my heart set on Virginia from the beginning," said Napolitano, who was also recruited heavily by Penn State, Florida State and Tennessee, among others. "I really, really liked the school when I went on two unofficial visits there."

Napolitano, who has helped lead the Vikings to a 5-1 record this season, had three goals Friday in a 4-0 win over Long Reach.

Howard player OK

Howard football player Craig Harvey, who was taken off the field in an ambulance Saturday in the Lions' 35-0 loss to Glenelg, was treated for a concussion, but was released after his injuries were deemed to be otherwise not serious.

"He got knocked unconscious for about 15 to 20 seconds, so we made sure to take all the safety precautions," coach Vince Parnell said.

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