Hammond, River Hill fight to a standoff, 2-2

Bears lose 2-0 lead, but improve title hopes

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 17, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | By Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

When they weren't fighting the rain and the cold, Hammond and River Hill looked at times like they might fight each other yesterday.

It was certainly intense - the two teams combined for five yellow cards - but in the end, neither soccer team could gain a distinct advantage as the visiting No. 5 Hawks and No. 8 Bears played to a 2-2 draw.

"I think anything other than a tie would have been disastrous for both teams after what happened," said Bears coach Pete DiMarco. "Obviously I wanted a win, but both teams played very well. We just had a few breakdowns that let them back in the game."

For Hammond (10-1-1 overall, 5-1-1 in county), the tie didn't hurt its chances for the county title, but it may have knocked River Hill (8-2-2, 4-1-2) out of the race. Coupled with losses yesterday by Centennial (8-3-1, 4-2-1), which fell to Wilde Lake, 3-2, in double overtime, and Mount Hebron (8-3-1, 4-2), which got beat by Glenelg, 4-1, Hammond found itself all alone in first place with games against Oakland Mills and Atholton remaining.

"We're still in first, right where we want to be," DiMarco said. "We have two tough games left, but we're definitely in the driver's seat."

Hammond certainly played like the county's best team for most of yesterday's game. After a scoreless first half, the Bears found the net twice after intermission, taking a 2-0 lead despite getting only three shots on goal up to that point.

"They said some things coming in like they were a better team than us," said Hammond senior Melissa Workman, who scored off a rebound for the Bears' first goal. "I don't really think that's true. I think we're better than them. Our defense played great all day. We expected to come in and shut them down."

Workman certainly did her part. Fast and physical on defense, she broke up numerous Hawks runs. Her goal in the 47th minute was her 12th, tops in the county.

Hammond got its second goal in the 51st minute, when River Hill committed a foul inside the penalty box, and Bears senior Ashley Pietryka beat Hawks goalie Erin Ferguson on the penalty kick.

Still, the game was anything but over. Hammond could only watch as its seemingly insurmountable lead evaporated with less than 15 minutes to play thanks to River Hill's Megan Buescher. Buescher, who has one of the best throw-ins in the area, scored off a throw-in in the 68th minute when a Hammond player touched the ball before it caromed into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

In the 71st minute, Buescher struck again as she threw the ball into a crowd in front of the goal, then watched as teammate Shayla Myers kicked it past Bears keeper Tara Zammichieli to tie the game.

Said Buescher: "It was like a replay of our Centennial game [a 1-1 tie last week]. We outshot them, but we just couldn't get one more to go in the net."

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