Hebron ends field hockey season on empty


October 31, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF


That was the sound of the county champion Mount Hebron's field hockey season coming to a disappointing end in the mud and rain on Tuesday.

Having scored in every game coming into the Class 3A North regional semifinal against South Carroll, the No. 10-ranked Vikings, state finalists a year ago, lost to the unranked Cavaliers, 1-0.

Host South Carroll (12-0-1) converted off a second-half corner. Mount Hebron (10-2-2) missed a first-half stroke.

"We had our chances," said coach Jeannette Ireland. "But they were tough conditions to play under. It was so hard to move the ball. It just sat in the mud."

With the exception of Mount Hebron, every other game involving Howard County teams was postponed Tuesday because of the poor weather.

"I was shocked we were playing," Ireland said. "I asked my athletic director, are you sure? I've never played in conditions like that. It becomes very painful when you realize you were the only one to play."

As the home team, South Carroll made the final decision on whether to play.

Cavaliers coach Erin Soulen said: "We knew we were going to have to play Thursday [regional final], and we didn't want to play back-to-back games. We thought that the field would be worse off than today [Tuesday], so we might as well go for it. Field conditions affected both teams. I don't think any team got an advantage out of it."

South Carroll did apply a drying compound to the front of both goals, but it didn't help much in the steady rain.

"The goal areas were mud," Ireland said. "As it got wetter and wetter it became so hard to move the ball. It was very cold. South Carroll was a very good team. The kids gave their all. It just wasn't what we hoped for."

The Vikings defeated South Carroll in last season's playoffs at Wilde Lake, 2-0.

"I was very surprised the game was held," said Vikings midfielder Emily Goldman. "It was really, really muddy. It was really dangerous. Everyone was falling. Cleats were caked with mud. But I understand you have to fit games in. We did our best. The senior class went to states last season, so now we're disappointed. But you can't be on top forever."

Report on lights

Back in the 1980s, Coordinator of Athletics Don Disney prepared a 100-page report on the possibility of lighting Howard County's high school fields. No new fields were lighted as a result of that report.

With a new school superintendent on board, Disney is trying again to improve upon the situation of having just one lighted high school stadium.

Four committees have been established to review the lighting situation and prepare a report to be presented to Superintendent John O'Rourke in January.

The four committees will focus on financial aspects, security needs, how to achieve community input and the lighting specifications.

"The superintendent is not committed one way or the other, but he is committed to listening to the idea," Disney said. "It will be a long, hard process."

The county this summer replaced a 40-year-old lighting system at Howard High, the county's only lighted stadium.

Disney said that two-thirds of all Maryland high schools have lighted stadiums.

Soccer matchups

Today's quarterfinal boys soccer regional playoffs feature two interesting matchups.

Hammond (6-7), which has won four of its past seven games, will play Centennial in a 2A West game at 5:30 p.m. at Howard High.

They played a hotly contested game Sept. 7 that Centennial won in overtime, 2-1, but not before a player from each team and Hammond coach Trevin London were ejected. Randy Collins scored both Eagles goals.

No. 9 Centennial (8-3-2) has skidded lately, going 1-2-1 in its past four games.

Another good matchup features defending 3A champion Severna Park (10-3-1) at Mount Hebron (8-6) at 2:45 p.m.

The Vikings have beaten two ranked teams - No. 8 Old Mill, 4-0, and No. 13 Oakland Mills, 3-0 - and lost to three other ranked teams by one goal apiece.

No. 11 Severna Park failed to advance to the Anne Arundel title game this season.

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