Hammond defeats Atholton, wins title

Workman's 2 goals secure 1st Howard crown since '98

High Schools

October 24, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Hammond's girls soccer team put a convincing stamp on a stellar and surprising season yesterday, knocking off Atholton, 2-0, to win its first Howard County title since 1998.

"It feels exciting and emotional all at once," said senior Melissa Workman, who scored both goals for the Bears, her 15th and 16th of the season. "I don't think anyone figured we'd be any good this year after we went 7-9 last season, but we knew what kind of team we'd have. Our goals from the beginning were to win the county title and the state title."

So far, so good. With its win yesterday, Hammond (13-1-1 overall, 7-1-1 league) finished ahead of Wilde Lake (10-4, 7-2), which did its part to keep the pressure on the Bears with a 5-2 win over Mount Hebron. Hammond has an opening-round bye in the Class 2A West Regional and will face the winner of Walkersville-Francis Scott Key on Tuesday.

"Last year was very frustrating and very difficult because we couldn't score goals," said Hammond coach Pete DiMarco. "But this is the same team, the same players, getting the job done. I tell everyone, we're not like the other schools. We don't get superstars, we create them."

DiMarco was without question referring to Workman, who once again displayed her knack for performing well in big moments. The upstart Raiders (6-4-3, 4-4-1) came into the game convinced that an upset would further legitimize their up-and-coming program, which has made tremendous strides under second-year coach Chuck Teal. Though Atholton controlled much of the first half, it couldn't bottle up Workman, who took a pass from Jessica Basso in the 13th minute and beat keeper E.J. Goldman far post for a 1-0 lead.

"We felt like it would be a big advantage if we could get a goal early because it's tough to play from behind," Workman said. "After that, our defense really clamped down and Tara [Zammichieli] made some huge saves."

It's hard to argue that two players have been more important to their team than Zammichieli and Workman have been to the Bears. While Workman has been opportunistic on offense and suffocating on defense, Zammichieli has simply been rock solid in the net. Though Atholton put constant pressure on Hammond and took more shots (16 to seven), Zammichieli tracked down every one of them, making 14 saves.

"Right now, I'm as proud of my team as I've been in my two years here," said Teal, whose Raiders will face Glenelg on Friday in the first round of the 2A West Regional.

Workman struck again in the 74th minute, out-jumping everyone to head the ball into net off a perfectly placed corner kick from Lauren Nuffer.

Wilde Lake 5, No. 13 Mount Hebron 2: Jane Wiseman scored twice and Kelly Thomas and Allie Levine each had a goal and an assist as the Wildecats romped at home over the Vikings yesterday.

"I think that was as good a game as we've played all season," said Wilde Lake coach Marcy Leonard.

Ashley Pollock also added a goal and Lynlea Cronin and Ali Solonche contributed assists as Wilde Lake won its fifth consecutive game. Wilde Lake will face Long Reach at home Tuesday in the 3A East Regional.

Mount Hebron (8-3-2), also in the 3A East, travels to Annapolis on Friday for its first-round game.

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