South Carroll's gain comes caked in mud

Cavaliers stay in hunt

Liberty left with regrets


October 31, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Neither No. 10 Mount Hebron nor a driving rainstorm could stop the South Carroll field hockey team in its Class 3A North regional semifinal Tuesday.

The Cavaliers' Allie Armitage scored off a penalty corner from Liz Fries with 15:01 to play, and goalie Abby Treworgy took care of the rest, stopping a penalty stroke near the end of the first half by the Vikings' leading scorer, Ali Lemons, in a 1-0 win.

Playing on a field so saturated that bags of drying compound were used in an attempt to dry large puddles in front of both goals, the Cavaliers (12-0-1) tinkered with their strategy, and reaped the rewards against last year's Class 3A finalists.

"We just used a smaller passing game because of the mud," South Carroll coach Erin Soulen said. "We made the adjustments that we had to make, but you could still see the good stickwork and passing, even though the field conditions were bad. You could also see the hustle on the field, winning balls."

Soulen said she and school officials had considered postponing the game, like most other area contests, but in the end came to the conclusion that playing was the best option.

"We knew that we were going to have to play Thursday, and we didn't want to play back-to-back games," Soulen said. "We thought that the field would be worse off [Wednesday] than it was [Tuesday], so we might as well go with it. The field conditions affected both teams. I don't think anyone got an advantage out of it."

South Carroll now awaits tomorrow's regional final, where it will face the winner of today's other semifinal between host North Carroll and River Hill in a game that has twice been postponed by rain.

South Carroll, making its first trip to the regional final since 2000, tied fellow unbeaten North Carroll during the regular season.

Soulen said that remaining unbeaten this far into the playoffs is a reflection of her hard-nosed players, who have refused to settle for anything less.

"Its a nice way to go through the season," Soulen said. "This team just kind of has an attitude of refusing to lose. They want to win and they want to keep on playing."

Liberty: mixed feelings

For years to come, county golf aficionados will marvel at the 16-0 record posted by this year's Liberty boys team. To the Lions, however, a second-place finish in Monday's state championships left a slightly uneasy feeling.

"We thought we had a chance if we played as well as we were capable," Liberty coach John Magee said. "We practiced up there much better than we performed in the tournament. Second is not bad, but we thought we had a shot."

Led by senior Nick DeSimone, whose round of 69 put him in second place individually, the Lions finished at 318, nine strokes behind winner Churchill. Other members of the foursome included senior Dan Borowy (81), junior Chad Miller (84) and sophomore Justin Cunningham (84).

The performance was the best for Liberty since the inception of its team in 1992, and capped the best season in school history.

And Liberty wasn't the only Carroll County school to fare well in the tournament.

Led by Ray Sheedy, who tied for third with a 70, Francis Scott Key tied for eighth place in Class 2A-1A. The Eagles finished 8-8 during the regular season.

Football rankings

With two regular-season games remaining, Francis Scott Key and South Carroll continue their battles to land spots in the state playoffs.

Francis Scott Key (6-2) currently sits eighth in the hunt for four at-large berths in Class 2A. South Carroll (also 6-2) currently sits ninth in Class 3A.

Four region winners and the next four highest-ranked teams - as determined by the state's points system - advance to the playoffs.

To have a shot, both Carroll teams need to win their remaining two games and have teams ranked above them lose.

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