Century starts off with county title, 2-1

First-year team rides Kasper's kick by N. Carroll

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 16, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It was the first direct kick in high school for Century junior Kelly Kasper. It ended up being the final word in the race for the Carroll County girls soccer championship.

Kasper's perfectly placed kick from 25 yards in front sailed over the arms of goalie Jenna Trumpower and into the net with 4:44 left in sudden-death overtime, sending the host Knights -- in their first year of varsity competition -- to a 2-1 win over North Carroll and sole possession of the county title.

Though Mandy Psenicska usually takes direct and corner kicks for Century (8-1 overall, 4-0 county, 5-1 Central Maryland Conference), on this occasion Kasper asked for the chance.

FOR THE RECORD - The girls soccer team for which Kristen Weaver plays was misidentified in a photo caption in some of yesterday's editions. She plays for North Carroll. The Sun regrets the error.

"I just told her [Century coach Vanessa Ozimek] I felt it, so I thought I should take it," Kasper said. "She just told me to aim it over their wall, and that's exactly where I put it."

It was a fitting ending for a team that dominated play, outshooting the Panthers 16-2, but kept coming up empty.

"I know there were people who had their doubts [about us], but I've worked with the girls all season and have seen what potential we have," said Ozimek, whose team has no seniors. "[Winning the county] is not surprising to me, but it's definitely well-deserved. I think it gives a good name for a school that's just starting out."

Century dominated the first half, holding North Carroll without a shot for 32 minutes. It was North Carroll, however, that took the lead.

After being forced into a defensive posture, the Panthers (4-4-2, 2-2, 3-2) made it 1-0 when Lauren Wigley won a loose ball after a throw-in and popped it in from 15 yards out 8:06 before halftime. The Panthers nearly scored again seconds later, but Heather Tomko's effort rolled just wide right.

Century tied the score with 2:49 left in the half, when Alicia Burkhart sent a pass toward the side of the goal to Lauren Schwarzmann, who raced to beat Trumpower to the ball, then sent a soft roller into the empty net.

The Knights had several chances to take the lead in regulation, including Lindsay Lamont's shot that deflected off Trumpower's hands and off the crossbar, but couldn't cash in.

North Carroll coach Jim MacDonald was gracious in defeat.

"You've get to give coach Vanessa O a lot of credit," MacDonald said. "She's got her team playing great. For them to be a first-year team makes it all the more impressive."

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