Rebuilt Eagles are flying again

Zimmerman's Aberdeen girls lacrosse team is off to 3-2 start

after 60 straight wins, C. Milton Wright suddenly streaking in wrong direction in girls lacrosse



Kelly Zimmerman knew she had a big task in front of her when taking over the Aberdeen girls lacrosse program last year. The Eagles hadn't had a winning record since the mid-1980s.

Zimmerman emphasized the basics and led Aberdeen to a 7-7 record. She was hoping for more this season, and the team has responded.

The Eagles are off to a 3-2 start, pleasing Zimmerman with their effort and play.

Zimmerman, who worked with the team as an assistant two years ago, attributed the improvement to "working on the fundamentals over and over and over and not moving on until they get them. Now I want them playing smart."

Senior goalie Amber Smith has been solid, making 44 saves in the first five games. Junior Sam Jewell sparked the attack with 13 goals and six assists. Teammate Laura Ordos added 12 goals and four assists.

The Eagles showed plenty of offense in wins over Joppatowne (11-4), Edgewood (9-4) and Harford Tech (8-5). Their losses came to Howard County schools Long Reach (11-9) and Hammond (11-2).

Zimmerman, whose husband, Ryan, coaches the Aberdeen boys team, said some of her players were a bit puzzled as to why they were playing a team like Hammond, but the coach explained how competing against a better team can help improve their skills in the long run.

Aberdeen, which lost in the first round of the playoffs last year, is headed for a good test this week with games against Bel Air and Fallston. They are two of the three best teams in the county.

"We want to have an upset this year," Zimmerman said.

Regardless of what happens in those games, Aberdeen appears to be headed toward being a more competitive team and building a winning program.

"We're going for a winning record and to make a good appearance in the playoffs," Zimmerman said. "So far, so good, but we're not satisfied yet."

Rare C.M. Wright skid

The C. Milton Wright girls lacrosse team found itself in a different kind of streak at the end of last week - a Harford County losing streak.

The Mustangs had won 60 consecutive county games before North Harford stopped that streak two weeks ago. But C. Milton Wright lost again in its next county game, as Fallston pulled out an 8-7 victory last Thursday.

The Mustangs (1-3) lost several key players from their state title team of 2004, but still have plenty of talent. However, other teams in the county appear to have caught up with them.

Fallston jumped to a 5-2 halftime lead before pulling out the win. Gabby Antinozzi led the Cougars with three goals and Erika Braerman added two more.

Despite the two county losses, no one is looking past the Mustangs. North Harford coach Greg Murrell knows his team will have to get past C. Milton Wright once more.

"They're still a good team," Murrell said.

Tennis, anyone?

C. Milton Wright's big tennis match with Bel Air was washed out last week and rescheduled for this afternoon.

The Mustangs and Bobcats are the only two unbeaten teams in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference's Chesapeake Division. Bel Air and C. Milton Wright were both 5-0 overall and 3-0 in UCBAC play through late last week.

A Bel Air victory would end C. Milton Wright's 81-match winning streak, and the Bobcats were the last team to beat the Mustangs. The Mustangs had little trouble in their most recent match, routing Rising Sun, 9-2.

Quick hits

The Edgewood boys lacrosse game with Perry Hall was postponed for an unusual reason - no officials on site. Also, weather suspended the game between Edgewood and Havre de Grace in the first half with the Warriors holding a 4-0 lead. The game is set to restart from that point today. ... Six John Carroll athletes have signed national letters of intent for different sports: Katie Garmet (UMBC, field hockey), Katelyn Strasdauskas (Virginia, lacrosse), Chelsea Ford (William and Mary, lacrosse), Delia Paris (Harvard, lacrosse), Mary Zulty (William and Mary, lacrosse) and Courtney Aburn (Delaware, lacrosse). ... John Carroll edged Calvert Hall, 15-12, in rugby. The Patriots are headed for Argentina to play rugby and tour over spring break.

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