Sarah Hobart never quite grabbed a championship ring during her four-year career as a soccer goalkeeper at Davidson College.
Maybe she was just a little bit short at 5 feet 6.
"Most college goalkeepers are 5-8, even 5-10," said the former Wilde Lake standout who nearly earned the ring in her final chance in the Southern Conference tournament this season.
Hobart set the stage with a spectacular save in a 3-2 semifinal upset victory over top-seeded UNC-Greensboro.
With the score tied at 2-2 and 13 minutes left, Hobart made the crucial stop when she was challenged at point-blank range by UNC-Greensboro's Cara Hammond.
"I would venture to guess that that's the biggest save of her career," said Davidson assistant coach Winnie Corrigan.
That save gave fifth-seeded Davidson a chance to score what proved to be the winning goal four minutes later.
That victory left only Furman in the way of a title. But Davidson never led in the championship game and lost, 3-1.
"We were pretty emotionally and physically taxed, very exhausted from the previous game [against UNC-Greensboro]," said Hobart. "We were down 2-0 at the half in that game and had come back to win it."
Hobart made two saves in the title game after getting five in the semifinal.
She established school career records for saves (402) and minutes in the goal (6,845.45) as well as making the All-Southern Conference first team and tournament team. She is third all-time at Davidson in career shutouts (16) and fourth in goals-against average (1.89).
"Her team has a great amount of confidence in her and having been a starting goalkeeper for four years is something that a lot of great keepers can't say," Corrigan said. "So she's had a tremendous career and a lot to be proud of."
Kupec, Salukis No. 1
Junior tight end Chris Kupec (River Hill) and his Southern Illinois teammates are the top seeds in the 16-team NCAA I-AA football playoffs, which open Saturday.
Kupec, 6-3, 230, is the second leading receiver on the team with 22 catches for 267 yards and one touchdown. The Salukis (10-1) won nine straight games after a 23-22 loss to Northern Illinois, the same team that shocked Maryland last season.
Southern Illinois will host Eastern Washington Saturday and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Atas is Big Ten champ
Ohio State sophomore Joey Atas (Calvert Hall) captured the fall 2004 Big Ten tennis singles title last week, defeating Penn State's Mark Barry, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, in the championship match.
Atas was second-seeded in the 64-player field.
Senior quarterback Scott Dolch (McDonogh) ended his Central Connecticut career on a high note, throwing a 66-yard touchdown pass and completing seven of 16 passes for 151 yards as the I-AA Blue Devils defeated Albany, 28-23, to gain a share of the Northeast Conference title (6-1, 8-2 overall).
Joel Gamble (Carver) played a major role in Shippensburg's second-half comeback from a 27-7 halftime deficit to a 28-27 lead against West Chester with five minutes left, catching a 21-yard touchdown pass shortly after he had leveled an impressive block on a linebacker. However, the Raiders couldn't hold on to the lead in the NCAA Division II round-of-16 playoff game and watched their season come to an end, 33-28.
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