Salisbury's Tracey rises to occasion

Alumni Report

November 30, 2005|By BILL FREE | BILL FREE,SUN REPORTER

Sarah Tracey always seemed to be there to make a last-second defensive save, score the impossible goal or give a teammate an important pep talk at just the right moment.

But the junior defender from Hereford High seldom saw her name in the headlines during Salisbury University's unprecedented march to three straight NCAA Division III national field hockey championships. The rewards almost always went to someone else.

The closest Tracey ever came to glory was a well-deserved tag of "Personal Protector" for sophomore goalkeeper Maria Ramoundos she gained over the season.

"Throughout the whole season I saw all my teammates' names in the paper and pictures in the paper," said Tracey. "I was proud for them and at the same time I just sat back and waited for my time. I did whatever I could for the team."

Tracey's "time" arrived Nov. 19 in a defensive struggle with Messiah for the national championship. Tracey was never better than she was that afternoon in a 1-0 victory that gave the Sea Gulls three straight national titles.

She began the day by making two mammoth defensive saves to preserve a scoreless tie at halftime.

Tracey then scored the only goal of the day off a penalty corner a little more than five minutes into the second half, and Tracey made certain her goal would stand up for the victory with 15 minutes remaining.

She batted away a shot just before it hit the goal line after the ball had eluded her goalkeeper, Ramoundos.

"I'm glad that I can look back now and show that I really did bring something with me this season and prove to every one that I do deserve to be up there with everyone else," said Tracey. "And show that it's not just offense that matters. That defense does help win games."

"Sarah had a great day in the championship," said senior midfielder Lauren Mathews (Centennial), who scored one goal this season in 10 starts for Salisbury.

Tracey and Mathews were two of seven players from the Baltimore area on the 21-1 Salisbury team that has long since become a field hockey dynasty with four national championships, nine trips to the Division III final four and 21 NCAA tournament appearances.

The others were junior forward Natalie Beck (Arundel), who scored three goals and had four assists this season; sophomore forwards Allie Norley (McDonogh) and Lauren Dietz (Patapsco); sophomore midfielder Ashley Spencer; and freshman goalkeeper Kristina Schweizer (Mount Hebron).

Contact Bill Free by e-mail at bfree7066@hotmail.com or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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