Jodrie helps Thomas Johnson toss Perry Hall for loss in final

Back's throw-ins too much for Gators to handle, 3-1

Class 4A girls soccer

High School

November 16, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Last night, Thomas Johnson's Christine Jodrie showed Perry Hall's No. 6 girls soccer team something it had never seen before - a flip throw that could drop the ball into the box from about 40 yards away.

When the junior back got closer, the Gators were in even bigger trouble.

Jodrie could throw the ball into the goal and she scored the game-winner that way after it tipped off Gators goalie Catherine Vecchione's fingers to spark a 3-1 Patriots victory for the state Class 4A girls soccer championship at UMBC.

"Every time it's a throw-in [with Jodrie], it's essentially a corner kick," said Perry Hall coach Brad Kressman. "You're trying to defend 25 corner kicks a game. It's difficult."

With the game tied 1-1 in the 48th minute, Vecchione tried to save Jodrie's high, arcing throw but could only get her fingers on it.

"I've seen flip throws before," said Vecchione, "but nothing like that. Hers were nice and high. We tried to mark up like a corner kick and that's all you can do."

The loss ended a 13-game winning streak for the Gators (15-1-1), who had not allowed more than one goal in a single game and had given up only five all season.

"Everybody wanted to win it, but we're just glad that we got here," said sophomore midfielder Brittany McKew. "Everyone was upset, people crying and all, but after this wears off, everyone's going to be proud of what we did."

With 10 sophomores and only four seniors, Perry Hall came a long way this season, but it ran into a better team last night.

Thomas Johnson (17-3) came into the final with an impressive resume. The Patriots had posted 13 shutouts and allowed just six goals en route to winning the Central Maryland Conference and Frederick County championships. They had lost only to No. 1 St. Mary's, No. 4 John Carroll and Bishop O'Connell (ranked fourth nationally at the time).

Still, the Gators held their own through the early going against a highly skilled opponent. They even managed to score first.

On a corner kick in the 31st minute, Ashley Carroll sent a low bouncer across the goal that reached Erica Lee on the far post for an open shot into the corner.

At that point, Patriots coach Chuck Nichols wasn't sure he could hold Perry Hall to one goal.

"They were very dangerous counterattacking us with their speed and athleticism. They came out like lightning bolts," said Nichols. "We're no more accustomed to giving up goals than they are, but the way we responded to it is essentially why we're state champions."

The lead lasted only eight minutes, until Jennifer Thackston took the Patriots' next corner kick. The ball ricocheted off several players before Jodrie deflected it off her body past Vecchione.

In the second half, Jodrie showed the Gators just how effective her flip throws could be.

She struck again in the 61st minute, tossing the ball into a crowd in front of Vecchione. A Gators defender tried to head the ball out, but it went up and Kendall Bolte headed it in.

Vecchione finished the game with nine saves as the Patriots outshot Perry Hall, 11-4.

Still for Kressman, the loss couldn't put a damper on a season in which the Gators won their first Baltimore County championship and advanced to the state final for only the second time.

"I'm so proud of them," he said. "I know they were upset and that's because they're competitors and they care, but they had the heart of a lion all season. They surprised everyone including myself. The positive part is that now it gives us something to work for."

Thomas Johnson 3, Perry Hall 1

Goals: TJ-Jodrie 2, Bolte; PH-Lee. Assist: PH-Carroll. Saves: TJ-Franciscovich 2; PH-Vecchione 9. Half: 1-1.

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