Lack of lights dims odds of soccer finals moving to Reservoir

2 boys, 2 girls teams from county ready to begin state title runs

High Schools

Notebook

November 08, 2001|By Rick Belz and Kevin Van Valkenburg | Rick Belz and Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Howard County Coordinator of Athletics Don Disney said he would like to submit a bid for new Reservoir High to become the host of next year's state soccer tournament championships.

But there's a catch: To win the bid, the field would have to be lighted. And the county has no plans to light the field.

When the Fulton school opens next fall, it will feature a field 120 yards long and 75 yards wide, wider than any public school field in the Baltimore area and considered ideal for soccer. Parking and seating will be ample, and the school is in the center of the state, lowering travel costs to a minimum.

Howard High, with the county's only lighted high school field, hosts regional finals but is deemed inadequate both for the quality of its lighting and the quality of the field for championships.

Tournament finals currently are played at UMBC on artifical turf.

Boys soccer

Class 1A: Oakland Mills (7-5-1) seeks its fourth straight Class 1A title and state-record 12th overall, starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Arundel, where the Scorpions face Baltimore County's Sparrows Point.

The Scorpions, who have allowed three goals in their past 17 playoff games, defeated Sparrows Point in last fall's state semifinals.

Class 2A: Hammond finally overcame the regional title-game jinx in its 3-1 Class 2A West victory over Centennial on Tuesday. The Golden Bears, who lost in the 1A regional finals in 1997 and in the 2A regional finals in 1996, and Long Reach were the only two county schools never to win a regional.

The Bears (10-8), who have won six straight games and outscored four playoff opponents, 12-4, begin their state title chase at 5 p.m. Friday, when they face perennial Eastern Shore power Stephen Decatur at Liberty, in Carroll County.

Class 3A: Mount Hebron's bid for a third straight state championship ended in the regional finals against Severna Park on Tuesday, 2-0.

The Vikings (11-5-1) had low expectations entering the season because of graduation losses and the resignation of coach Jeff Doolan shortly before the season started.

They surprised everyone by winning their first seven games, before McDonogh started them on a downward spiral with a 5-0 trouncing. They limped home 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.

Girls soccer

Class 3A: River Hill, the back-to-back defending Class 3A state champs, will try for the next step toward three in a row at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in a state semifinal against Urbana at South Carroll High School.

The No. 5 Hawks, who also won a state title in 1997, will be trying to avenge a 2-1 regular-season loss to Urbana earlier this season. In the other 3A state semifinal, Franklin faces Leonardtown at 5 p.m.

Class 2A: Centennial, which last won a state championship in 1998, will start its try for the school's sixth state title against J. M Bennett at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Atholton High School. Eastern Tech faces Bethesda-Chevy Chase at noon in the other 2A semifinal.

Tough ending

As difficult as it was for the Hammond girls soccer team to watch its Cinderella season come to an end Tuesday with a 1-0 loss to Centennial, the result didn't tarnish an inspiring year for the Bears. After starting the year unranked and unnoticed in The Sun's Top 15 poll, Hammond won the Howard County championship and climbed as high as No. 4 in the most recent poll.

"We didn't really come to play in the first half [against Centennial]," said Bears senior defender Ashley Pietryka. "But in the end, we gave them a run. I'm really proud of everyone and our season, because no one expected us to come this far. It's been an incredible bonding experience, playing with these girls. We were so close and accomplished a lot. I'm going to miss it a bunch."

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