Bathras-powered Chesapeake wins

Cougars turn the tables on No. 15 Broadneck, 2-1

4A East field hockey regional

High School

November 02, 2001|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Chesapeake-AA junior Mandy Bathras did not register statistically in yesterday afternoon's Class 4A East regional field hockey final. But nobody could dispute the decisiveness of her presence on the field.

As a midfielder, Bathras had a hand in setting up both the Cougars' goals, and she played a key role on defense to lift Chesapeake to a 2-1 victory over No. 15 Broadneck and the regional title. The Cougars (13-2-2) will play at 12:30 p.m. Monday at Goucher College against the winner of today's West regional final between Watkins Mill (12-2) and Quince Orchard (10-2).

Bathras played brilliantly in every facet of the game. Defensively, she used her superior stick skills to clear the ball out of the shooting circle. In the midfield, she constantly placed perfect passes on her teammates' sticks to start the attack. And offensively, her hard shots from the top of the shooting circle caused major problems for the Bruins' defense.

"She's fabulous," said Chesapeake coach Jerry Taylor, whose team will be making its first trip to the state semifinals since 1995. "We didn't have her the last time we played Broadneck and it showed; we lost, 2-1. She has fabulous stickwork, she's a fabulous defender and she's a lot of our team. When we lost her, we really had problems with intensity toward the end of the season."

After sitting out two weeks with an injured wrist, Bathras demonstrated she is back. With the score tied, 1-1, Chesapeake pressured Broadneck (11-4-2) to start the second half. In the opening eight minutes, the Cougars earned five penalty corners.

On their fifth penalty corner of the half, Stephanie Johanson fed Bathras, who sent an outstanding feed to Amanda Sheldon at the left corner of the cage. Sheldon then found senior forward Stacey Brittingham, who scored the game-winner goal with 22:24 left.

"Mandy is awesome all the time," said Brittingham, who scored her sixth goal of the season. "She's very important. Without Mandy, we lost. It has been great to get her back. We feel better when Mandy has the ball. It gives us more confidence."

Bathras also started the flurry that turned into the Cougars' first goal with 19:33 left in the first half. She drilled a shot from the top of the shooting circle, which Broadneck goalie Andrea Jones initially stopped. But Johanson fed the rebound to forward Amanda Weitzel for the game's first goal.

"This was a pretty good game," Bathras said. "We all put everything together."

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