North Carroll is blanked by Urbana, 3-0

Panthers' season ends in West Regional final

Hawks' Vistica scores 2

Class 3A girls soccer

High School

November 07, 2001|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

North Carroll girls soccer coach Jim MacDonald calls Urbana forward Kathleen Vistica "one of the top two or three" high school players he has ever seen.

In last night's Class 3A West Regional final, the junior showed why, scoring a goal in each half, as the host Panthers ended their season with a 3-0 loss to their Central Maryland Conference rival.

"She's the real deal," MacDonald said of Vistica, a first-team All-State forward who has now scored 21 goals after scoring 27 a year ago. "I've been telling the players how good she is, but you've got to see her in person to know how good she really is."

Urbana (12-4-1), which won its other region title in 1996, advances to the state semifinals against River Hill on Friday or Saturday at a time to be determined. Earlier this season, Urbana topped the Howard County team, 2-1.

Urbana kept the pressure on North Carroll (8-6-2) throughout the early minutes, taking the lead when Vistica got unexpected help from the Panthers.

After a corner kick by Emily Wilson, Vistica came up with the ball about 20 yards out, made two hitch moves and fired a hard shot that bounded off North Carroll midfielder Kristy Shaffer and past goalie Jenna Trumpower to make it 1-0 with 10:53 into the game.

"We know that a lot of times whoever gets that first goal can control the momentum for most of the rest of the game," Vistica said. "Tonight, we were lucky and we got it, and we were able to pretty much control the rest of the game."

North Carroll didn't get many scoring chances in the half, but nearly cashed in with just under nine minutes left when speedy forward Katie Riley got ahead of the pack on a breakaway. The senior, however, dribbled too far in front of her and Hawks keeper Stacey Green raced out to smother the ball.

North Carroll didn't record its first shot until there was 20:57 left in regulation.

MacDonald said his team made several adjustments at halftime to produce more offense, and to a large extent, the maneuvers worked. When the Panthers attempted to become even more aggressive late in the second half, however, the Hawks scored two goals in the final 5:20.

"I thought for 35 minutes in the second half, we were right there with them," MacDonald said. "We just couldn't get that goal in."

Vistica scored her second goal on a rocket from about 20 yards out with just more than 5 minutes left, putting the game out of reach.

"When you have a go-to striker that can move as well as she does, you want to find her as many touches as you can," Urbana coach Brian Parker said. "We're trying to keep her as high as we can on their back line, and trying to find her with quality passes."

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