East. Tech step closer to counties

No. 11 Mavs stand at 7-0 after beating Loch Raven

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 10, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Eastern Tech's girls soccer team advanced to the state semifinals last season, but this year, the No. 11 Mavericks would first like to have a little more success closer to home.

With yesterday's 2-0 victory over Loch Raven, the Mavericks all but clinched the top spot in Baltimore County's Class 2A-1A Division and a berth in the county title game on Oct. 22.

"This is the biggest game for us," said Mavericks center midfielder Britney Thomas. "We've never been to counties. It's a big deal because it's a great start for the state tournament."

The Mavericks, who lost in a shootout to Bethesda-Chevy Chase last fall in the Class 2A state semifinal, still have a week left in the county season. But with this win over the Raiders (8-2-1 overall, 6-1 division) and Tuesday's win over Hereford, the Mavericks (9-2, 7-0) have beaten the only other division contenders.

The Mavericks got off to a quick start yesterday with Thomas netting the first goal in the 11th minute. In a skirmish in the box, the ball deflected off a Loch Raven defender's leg toward the net, but keeper Rachael Wisner deflected it away. The ball bounced at close range and Thomas popped it past Wisner.

For most of the half, the Mavericks had the upper hand, winning 50/50 balls and creating scoring chances, while the Raiders got jammed in the midfield.

"We've been able to just play the ball over the top and run onto it, and against a good defense, you can't just do that. You need to work the ball around," said Raiders center midfielder Lauren Askey.

While the Raiders had beaten their last seven opponents by an average margin of 7.2 goals, the Mavericks have been tested by tougher competition. They beat No. 15 C. Milton Wright, 4-3, last week, and edged Hereford, 3-2, on Tuesday. That difference showed as the Mavericks outshot the Raiders 9-3 in the first half. In the 55th minute, the Mavericks struck again.

Wisner came out and leaped to grab Thomas's corner kick, but the ball slipped through her hands. Ericka Stimmell was right behind her for the goal.

The Raiders didn't apply much pressure until the final six minutes with the Mavericks adopting a more defensive strategy, but Mavericks keeper Katlin Hassell and sweeper Danielle Nickles held them off.

Hassell had a close call when she blocked a shot but was out of position for an attempt off the rebound.

"It was just a whole bunch of people coming together," Hassell said. "I got my hand on it enough to keep it out of the face of the mouth and then Nickles came through and she cleared it out for me."

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