Girls soccer at Harford Tech leaves losing ways behind


October 14, 2007|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,[Special To The Sun]

Life has changed rather quickly for the Harford Tech girls soccer team.

The Cobras struggled from 2003 through 2006, losing an average of nine games per season and allowing an average of 36 goals per season. Six talented freshmen have helped Harford Tech turn things around, however, and the Cobras can clinch an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference division title with a win tomorrow against Edgewood.

Freshmen Erica Coley, Desirae Diamond, Taylor Melton, Jessica Raab, Raven Stokeling and Kayla Watson have helped the Cobras go 7-1-1 through Wednesday. The team has given up eight goals this season.

Harford Tech had a 4-0-1 record in the Susquehanna Division, with a one-game lead over Edgewood and Perryville. The Cobras turned in strong efforts last week in wins over Joppatowne (by a score of 6-1) and Havre de Grace (4-0).

Harford Tech, which averaged about one goal per game last year, had 29 goals through Wednesday, and freshmen had 12 of them. Watson scored seven, while Melton had four and Diamond had one. Watson, Melton and Coley are forwards who spark the offense, and Raab does solid work at midfield. Defenders Stokeling and Diamond help out in the back.

While the freshmen have played a big role, coach Matt Berg said, several other players who moved up from junior varsity also have had an impact. Sophomore Jackie Messenger is the team's leading goal-scorer with nine goals. Kaitlyn Schech (sophomore) often controls the game from the midfield and sparks the offense, and classmate Catelyn Kelly anchors the defense at sweeper.

"I'm very proud of the work and effort that all the girls have put in this year," Berg said. "It's been a team effort from top to bottom."

Bass leads defense

Fallston stopper R.J. Bass put on a defensive show in last week's scoreless tie with rival C. Milton Wright in boys soccer.

A senior, Bass has used speed, skill and smarts to spark Fallston's first-place standing in the UCBAC's Chesapeake Division at 3-0-1, just ahead of Bel Air (4-1) and C.M. Wright (3-1-1).

He was a dominant force in back against C.M. Wright, repeatedly breaking up plays. He also made a save, heading a ball off the goal line as it was heading toward the net. Another time, Bass had a ball bounce over his head and past him. A C.M. Wright player was close to the ball, but Bass outran the player and the ball to send it out of danger.

"He just gives us that confidence [back there]," coach Christopher Hoover said. "He's just the backbone of our defense. He's super fast."

Playoff races

Joppatowne remained in first place with a big lead over Snow Hill in the Class 1A East region football playoff standings through five weeks.

The Mariners won four straight after losing to North Carroll in the season opener. North Harford also was 4-1 through five weeks and tied for first in the Class 3A East region, just ahead of Wilde Lake and Howard.

North Harford coach Ken Brinkman's team has had to go on the road in the first round of the playoffs each of the past two years. At this pace, other teams would have to come to Pylesville to face the Hawks.

"We'd like to be at home this year," Brinkman said earlier this season.

The first four teams in each region make the playoffs in football, with the top seed getting home-field advantage until the region final.

Championship schedule

The Chesapeake Division golf tournament is set for Bulle Rock on Wednesday at 1 p.m. The following day is when both divisions have their cross country championships. The Chesapeake meet is at Jerusalem Mill at 3 p.m., while the Susquehanna meet runs at the same time at Canal House in Cecil County.

For field hockey, the championship game also is scheduled for Thursday, at C. Milton Wright at 3 p.m.

The soccer title games are going to be on Oct. 24 at Edgewood. The girls play at 5 p.m. ,while the boys go at 7.

The county's cheerleading championship will be on Oct. 27 at Joppatowne at 1 p.m.

The UCBAC volleyball title match is set for Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at Cecil Community College. Boys volleyball will have its tournament on Oct. 30 at North Harford, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

There are two championships in boys volleyball in Harford County. It's the only county in Maryland that does the sport in the fall. As of last Wednesday, Havre de Grace and Fallston were tied for first with 8-1 records. C.M. Wright was third at 7-2, one game ahead of Bel Air (6-3).

Fallston won the regular-season title last year, but the Cougars fell in the tournament, which was on by Bel Air.

Cross county changes

The Class 1A South regional cross country meet has been moved back to Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. at South Carroll.

Havre de Grace, Harford Tech, Joppatowne and Patterson Mill are the Harford County schools affected by the change. This is Patterson Mill's first year of competition.

UCBAC rivals Bohemia Manor and Perryville also are in this region.

The state cross country championships are set for Nov. 10 at Hereford.

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