Despite 8-0 mark, Bel Air keeps focus


High Schools

April 27, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Excuse the Bel Air girls lacrosse team for not getting too excited about its undefeated start.

With a thrilling 11-10 comeback win over Fallston on Wednesday and an 18-1 victory over Aberdeen a day later, the Bobcats improved to 8-0 overall, 5-0 in the county.

But the way fourth-year varsity coach Angela Ward sees it, the Bobcats haven't proven anything.

After this week, which includes a home game Tuesday night against No. 14 C. Milton Wright and Thursday's game at North Harford, Ward said that everybody will know a lot more about her team.

C. Milton Wright is also 3-0 in the county, and North Harford has just one county loss, 8-7, in double overtime, to the Mustangs on Tuesday.

"We figured we'd be where we're at now, but next week is going to be a hard week for us," said Ward. "We have the momentum, but that will be the test. We're going to have to play our best game to beat C. Milton, but we think we have a chance."

As they have all season, the Bobcats, who lost their only county game last year to the Mustangs, will rely on their offense. Bel Air has outscored its opponents, 129-31, this season.

Three Bobcats have scored 20 goals or more, led by senior Colby Bugda's 26 goals and nine assists. UMBC-bound midfielder Kelly Fahey has 25 goals and 20 assists, and classmate Gina Gessner has 22 goals and five assists.

It was Gessner who was the hero against Fallston. She scored a game-high four goals, including the game-winner with 36 seconds left. The Bobcats trailed the Cougars 10-8 with about two minutes left.

"Beating Fallston was the first step, but like I said, this week is going to tell it all -- not only for our team -- but for the rest of the county," Ward said. "It's definitely going to be a tough week, but we've been practicing hard and we hope it pays off."

Big week for county races

In boys lacrosse, No. 15 North Harford can wrap up its first county title since 1999 and an unbeaten league season with wins over Aberdeen (1-7, 0-3) Wednesday and Bel Air on Friday.

Fallston (15-0, 11-0), ranked fourth in The Sun poll, has a little work to do before it claims its third straight county softball title. The Cougars play third-place C. Milton Wright tomorrow, Joppatowne on Wednesday and second-place Havre de Grace on Friday.

The Cougars also have a game with North Harford and a second game with Havre de Grace remaining.

The tightest race is being contested in baseball, where defending-champ Fallston currently leads the division with a 9-1 record. The Cougars have the lead thanks to Thursday's 3-2 extra-inning win over North Harford, which is tied for second place with C. Milton Wright at 8-2. Bel Air is also in the mix with a 7-3 league record.

The four teams will play each other several times before matters are settled. North Harford faces Bel Air on Wednesday, Fallston on May 5 and C. Milton Wright on May 6.

C. Milton Wright and Fallston, which still has a make-up with Bel Air looming, play tomorrow in a rematch of an early-April game which the Mustangs won, 14-7.

"We were disappointed, and felt we were much better than we played," said Cougars coach Mark Puckett.

Going out with a bang

The Havre de Grace baseball team isn't part of the county title race, but it has reversed what was looking to be a long season.

After losing their first five games -- all to county opponents -- the Warriors won four straight, including capturing title honors at their own, Jim Harris Memorial Tournament, contested over Easter weekend.

They are now 5-6 on the season, and 3-5 in the county.

In the past two weeks, the Warriors beat Harford Tech and Edgewood twice each and upset No. 13 C. Milton Wright, 7-6, severely damaging the Mustangs county title hopes.

Junior center fielder Shane West has been the catalyst for the Warriors with two doubles, a triple and a home run in the four games. West is batting .429.

Weather woes

The three county baseball games at Ripken Stadium were canceled yesterday because the rain. ... The weather also wiped out the John Carroll boys lacrosse tournament, which featured John Carroll, Edgewood, North Harford and Bel Air.

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