Bel Air clinches Harford County title, sending North Harford to first loss, 1-0

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 19, 2002|By Sam Atkinson | Sam Atkinson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Bel Air's girls soccer team is back on top in Harford County.

The Bobcats' string of four county titles was ended by Fallston last season, but they regained the league crown yesterday with a 1-0 victory over host North Harford.

Senior midfielder Brittany Rothenbach floated a ball into the right corner 12:15 into the second half for the lone goal of the game. Freshman Michelle Peck had the assist on the goal, which was the first allowed this season by North Harford senior goalkeeper Lindsey Koerber.

"My aunt died Thursday, so I decided to play for her today, and so did my teammates, and that meant a lot to me," Rothenbach said.

Bel Air improved to 10-3 overall and 6-0 in the league with one county game remaining. The Hawks (7-1-3) suffered their first loss of the season and fell to 3-1-2 in the county. The game had been postponed twice due to the Washington-area sniper attacks and rain.

"We couldn't lose the counties this year," said Bel Air coach Bill Zimmerman. "We had to win today, and we knew that. It was a good game, as we have always had good games with North Harford."

As is usually the case in games between Bel Air and North Harford, goals were hard to come by, as two of the best goalies in the county - Koerber and Bel Air's Catie Joynes (nine saves) - squared off.

Koerber, an All-County selection who holds all the goalkeeping records for the Hawks, said it was a bad time to give up her first goal of the season, but "I'm glad I didn't give it up against a weaker team." Said North Harford coach Tom Berg: "She [Koerber] is really something. We have a young defense, and having her back there as an anchor has been great. I don't think there is a better goalie in the state."

The Hawks had a golden opportunity to tie the game with about 12 minutes remaining.

Sophomore Katie Lawrence took a shot from about 25 yards that hit the inside of the right goal post and deflected toward the goal line. What looked to be the game's equalizer was whistled no goal, as Joynes pounced on the ball.

"We don't want to dwell on that," Berg said. "The referees did a good job today. It is disappointing, but we had other opportunities."

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