North County knocks off No. 5 South River

Francazi's goal sends Knights to 4A East semi

Chesapeake nips Old Mill

Field hockey

High Schools

October 26, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

This was supposed to be a rebuilding season for the North County field hockey team.

Rather than wait until next year, the Knights pulled off their surprise yesterday, shocking No. 5 South River, 1-0, in a Class 4A East regional quarterfinal in Edgewater.

The host Seahawks captured the Class 3A state championship last season and had hopes of claiming the 4A version after moving up.

But a goal from senior midfielder Katie Francazi with 13:56 left in the game propelled North County (5-7-1) to a semifinal meeting with Chesapeake on Tuesday.

"For the kids, it's the biggest win of the season," said Knights coach Brian Bowles. "I keep instilling in them that they have to play hard from whistle to whistle and to have confidence in themselves because I have confidence in them."

South River overwhelmed North County in several statistical categories, including shots (27-3) and penalty corners (15-2).

But Knights junior goalkeeper Jessie Dayton stymied the Seahawks by registering 23 saves and preserving the shutout.

"You learn pretty quickly that one goal doesn't hold a win for you," said Dayton, who said she was nervous as the game drew to a close. "Everyone kept saying, `We've got this, we've got this,' but I just kept yelling, `Hold them.' "

The loss marred a successful season for South River (8-3-2), which battled 13-time state titlist Severna Park to a scoreless double-overtime tie during the regular season.

"The best thing I can say is I'm very sad," said Seahawks coach Laura Gerrior. "North County really wanted this game. I guess my girls weren't prepared."

Chesapeake 1, Old Mill 0: Senior attack Amanda Weitzell's first-half goal helped the host Cougars win their Class 4A East regional quarterfinal contest in Pasadena.

The victory helped Chesapeake improve to 9-2-2, but Old Mill (4-9) battled for every loose ball in the midfield and thwarted the Cougars' offense several times.

Chesapeake coach Jerry Taylor said she thought the Patriots held their own against her team.

"I think they played real aggressive," Taylor said. "Our girls thought we could walk over them, and we couldn't."

The Cougars broke through on their fourth penalty corner of the first half. Junior midfielder Amanda Miller started the corner by tapping a pass to junior attack Amanda Sheldon.

Sheldon's shot from a sharp angle to the left of Old Mill junior goalie Holly Mariano (seven saves) was batted away by a Patriots defender, but Weitzell collected the outlet pass and fired a shot into the cage to give Chesapeake the lead with 6:36 left in the half.

The Cougars finished the game with a 13-11 edge in shots and a 9-6 advantage in penalty corners.

Old Mill coach Jen Day was pleased to see that her team finished with a one-win improvement from last season.

"I thought that they had an outstanding year," said Day. "They're making small steps."

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