No. 13 Perry Hall tops Kenwood for 31st straight Balto. Co. win

Knight gets 2 goals, helps deal Bluebirds first loss

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 01, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

While winning is still relatively new to the Kenwood girls soccer team, it has clearly been around for a while at Perry Hall.

Evidence of that came last night at Kenwood, where No. 13 Perry Hall fended off yet another upstart Baltimore County challenger behind a two-goal performance from sophomore wing Jessica Knight to produce a solid 4-2 victory.

Better organized, quicker to the ball and more sure on their scoring chances, the two-time defending county champion Gators gave the Bluebirds a firsthand look at where they're striving to get to as a program.

Perry Hall improved to 6-2 overall and 5-0 in the league to run its string to 31 straight wins against county opponents.

Kenwood went into the game with a program-best start of 8-0, already equaling its program best for wins in a season. Despite the loss, Kenwood coach Derek Woodward found positives and understands it's all part of the learning process.

"You could see our youth. We [haven't been very successful] the last two years so we don't have anybody older who can say, `Hey look, this is how it's done' on a regular basis. It showed tonight," he said. "This was a learning experience for us. Against Perry Hall, the speed of play was much quicker than what our kids have been used to and this is what they need to see."

What they saw last night was a quick start from the visiting Gators, who got goals from Sarah Holcomb and Knight to build a 2-0 lead by the 15th minute. After the Bluebirds pulled to within 2-1 on a goal from Michele Sadowski in the final minute of the first half, the Gators had second-half answers.

Their best defense in protecting the one-goal lead was making certain to stay forward. Pressing, it was Knight, dangerous every time she touched the ball, who found space down the right wing and then sneaked a shot past Kenwood keeper Jen Guyer to restore the two-goal lead in the 55th minute.

"We knew it was important to get the next goal because whoever got the next goal was going to have the momentum," said Knight.

Perry Hall senior midfielder Brittany McKew added to the Gators lead in the 75th minute before freshman Ashley Singer closed the scoring late. With 40 seconds left, Singer, who has 12 goals and five assists on the season, went down with a knee injury and was taken to the hospital via ambulance. The referees called the game at that point.

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