Eight-win season is breakthrough for Harford Tech

Led by midfielder Fine, boys soccer team sets school mark for victories


High Schools

October 26, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

A five-game winning streak may be rare for the Harford Tech boys soccer team, but a victory over Edgewood is unprecedented.

The Cobras accomplished both Monday with a 2-1 win over the Rams, their first victory against Edgewood.

It stretched Harford Tech's winning streak to five -- it was broken the next day with a loss to Elkton -- and provided further evidence of the Cobras' progress this season.

Even with a season-ending 2-0 loss to North East in the Class 2A East regional first round on Friday, the Cobras (8-6-1) recorded the most wins in school history.

"We don't bring in that many athletes at this school, but year after year we're finally getting kids that have played soccer before," said Cobras 12th-year coach Andy Bleichfeld. "They knew we had never beaten Edgewood. We played them tough the last two years and I think the guys remembered that."

Senior midfielder Keith Fine, a four-year starter for the Cobras, enjoyed a breakout season.

Fine had 12 goals and eight assists, but his biggest score came against Edgewood when he took a feed from Mike Pistorio, who also assisted on Fine's first goal of the game, and scored with three minutes left.

It was quite a sendoff for Fine, who Bleichfeld said is the type of player every coach wants.

"He's a true scholar-athlete," said Bleichfeld, who said that Fine is applying to the Naval Academy. "His resume is just amazing. He's an Eagle Scout, he's active in student government and he's an all-around good athlete."

Pair off to Hopkins

C. Milton Wright seniors Kadie Stamper and Sarah Gallion, integral parts of the Mustangs' soccer team that captured a county title this week, have orally committed to play lacrosse at Johns Hopkins.

Stamper, a fast midfielder, was the Harford County Player of the Year last year after registering 37 goals and 31 assists.

Gallion, a first-team All-County defender, was a key cog in the Mustangs' run to the county title and the 3A state final.

Mustangs on the mend

The C. Milton Wright girls soccer team should be near full strength when it starts 3A North regional play on Tuesday against Western, coach Paul Austin said.

The Mustangs went 2-0 last week, beating Fallston for the county title and No. 11 Institute of Notre Dame, despite playing without much of its back line.

"I've always said to them that when a sub goes in, we are not taking a step back," Austin said. "You have to play as good as the girl ahead of you and we've had some girls really step up."

Fullbacks Gallion and Gina Maranto were out with head injuries and didn't play last week, and sweeper Erin Rawlick went down with a knee injury in the second half against Fallston.

Maranto and Gallion have been cleared to resume playing, but Austin said Rawlick, who has a bruised knee, may not return until later in the state tournament.

Bel Air's vision

When Bel Air captured its first boys Harford County cross country championship since 1985 last week, Bobcats coach Shawn Loper couldn't help but recall a conversation he had with his team three years ago.

"We were on a training run and they asked me: `How good did I think they could be,' " said Loper, whose boys team placed five in the top 10, including winner Bryan Thom. "I told them I thought they had the talent to do this. ... They've been looking forward to this since they were freshmen."

Results are big

At just 5 feet 7, 140 pounds -- not exactly ideal size for a linebacker -- Havre de Grace's Alex Wolverton can easily get lost in the Warriors' defensive shuffle.

But opposing teams certainly have taken notice of the junior, who has been averaging more than six tackles a game.

"He's 140 pounds and a buck 35 of it is heart," said Warriors coach Johnny Brooks. "I don't think he knows how small he is and we're not going to tell him."

Rivals meet

Accustomed to playing with a county championship on the line, C. Milton Wright and Fallston will face off at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the 3A North regional field hockey semifinals at C. Milton Wright.

In 3A North girls soccer, Fallston could get another shot at C. Milton Wright if both teams win Tuesday's quarterfinal games.

Bel Air, which beat C. Milton Wright in the regular season, plays the Mustangs again on Tuesday in the 3A North boys quarterfinals.

Et cetera

Sophomore Patrick Hinch's conquest of the 2A-1A state golf championships added to what has been quite a fall season at Aberdeen. The Eagles' boys soccer team gained a share of its first county title since 1989, and the girls soccer team had its best regular season in 15 years. The football team is also still alive for a county championship and state playoff berth. ... With a victory over Pallotti on Saturday, the John Carroll football team will gain a share of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference title. The Patriots' volleyball team will open play in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference tournament Tuesday as the top seed.

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