Carroll Christian freshmen playing like veterans

Girls soccer team is 6-1

Century baseball armed

N. Carroll wins in lacrosse


April 17, 2005|By Rich Scherr and Jeff Seidel | Rich Scherr and Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Carroll Christian girls soccer coach Daniel McLaughlin wasn't sure what to expect from his team heading into this season. The Patriots had lost seven seniors from last year's squad that lost in the Maryland Association of Christian Schools title game, and McLaughlin found 11 freshmen on his roster.

"I thought it was going to be a building year this year," McLaughlin said.

But Carroll Christian built a whole lot faster than McLaughlin expected. The Patriots have jumped to a 6-1 start, with longtime rival Harford Christian next at home Tuesday.

After going 11-3 last year and making the final the past two seasons, the Patriots lost those seniors. However, the freshmen - particularly Katie Blizzard - have been impressive.

Blizzard had two goals and three assists in Wednesday's 6-1 rout of Chestertown and now is the team's leading scorer with 10 goals and five assists in seven games.

Blizzard played on the varsity last year as an eighth-grader - that is allowed in some private school leagues - and helped the team make the MACS final, in which Harford Christian handed Carroll Christian a 3-2 loss in triple overtime. The Patriots had a 2-1 lead with 16 seconds left in regulation.

Carroll Christian has six freshman starters on this season's squad.

Freshmen Brittney Becker (two goals and one assist) and Stephanie Zinnamosca (two goals, three assists) have helped on offense, and senior sweeper Meghan Gies has been an anchor on defense.

And senior Jen Sylvester has returned after missing the first five games with mononucleosis.

McLaughlin is hoping Sylvester will help the offense. She has had been hampered by both injuries and illness this season and last, but scored 27 goals as a sophomore. She has already scored a goal in her first two games back.

McLaughlin likes the potential of his team.

"A lot of these girls have been playing together since they were in the sixth grade," he said. "I don't know if we'll be as strong as we were last year, but I think we'll get there."

Century arm strength

Despite a lineup that includes some of the most potent hitters in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League, pitching has propelled Century's baseball team to a 7-2 start through Thursday.

"Pitching is definitely the strength of the team," said first-year coach Matt Michael. "We've got some real good arms, and that's what's keeping us in ballgames. Then our hitting has been coming through in clutch situations."

A case in point was Wednesday's 1-0, extra-inning win over Tuscarora. The Knights got seven innings of two-hit ball from starter Jimmy Mudgett, then another shutout inning by reliever Matt Meadows before pulling out the win on Jimmy Weisner's RBI single in the eighth.

Mudgett (2-0, 0.54 ERA), a right-hander with a strong curveball, leads a staff that has a 1.40 ERA through nine games. Right-hander Matt Hoffman (2-0, 0.64 ERA) and left-hander Aaron Gabrielian (2-1, 4.54) also have been reliable starters, and Meadows has four saves.

First lacrosse win

The North Carroll boys lacrosse team suffered through growing pains early this season, dropping close games to South Carroll and Century, along with bigger defeats to Annapolis, North Harford and Bel Air en route to an 0-5 start.

Last Tuesday, however, the Panthers finally put it all together, rallying from a five-goal, first-quarter deficit to pull out a 10-8 road win over Linganore.

"I think it's tremendous in the sense of confidence," coach John Piper said. "We're fighting, we're trying, we're going hard. Linganore is a good team, and it's going to help our psyche."

Senior Jon Walker is the team's leading scorer - he had four goals against Linganore. Junior midfielder Dave Smedick has emerged as a team leader, and senior defenseman Justin Drobisch contributes in a number of ways, including faceoffs.

Repsher injured

Westminster's standout distance runner, Trisha Repsher, is sidelined indefinitely with a pulled right hip flexor muscle.

Repsher, the reigning Class 4A-3A state champion in the 3,200-meter run during indoor track this past winter, said she pulled the muscle during practice on April 1. She said her doctor has told her that she can resume running when she can walk without pain.

"It's a big-time disappointment," said the junior, who added that she set the Carroll County championships on May 12 as her return date. "I'm itching to run. But maybe this is a good time for me to study up on my AP [Advanced Placement] courses in chemistry, statistics and psychology."

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