With the Baltimore County championship still a month away, Perry Hall players could keep building on their desire to send girls soccer coach Rick Testerman out a winner in his last season at the school.
There's also the little matter of settling a score for bowing in the final to heated rival Eastern Tech, which halted the Gators' bid for a three-peat in the county.
"We would like to get our names back out there (as champions) because we let a lot of people down," said Perry Hall defender Kara Taylor, one of 10 returning starters. We never lost a title (match) before. We are going to push harder this year than ever before."
Testerman, who is 40-11 in four years at the helm, said he needed a break from coaching three sports at Perry Hall since he works as a wrestling and girls lacrosse assistant.
"He's been coaching us since we were little in (the Perry Hall White Marsh Football Club)," Taylor said. "The majority of the team is now seniors, and that's all the people he has been coaching for a whole bunch of years. We are all going out together, and we want to end on a good note."
Perry Hall (4-1) appears to be on its way to another strong season.
"Our goal is win the last game we play this year, which means we would be state champions," Testerman said. "We have the potential to go far. The talent is there. It's just a matter of, psychologically, if the girls want to play to the level of their abilities."
Perry Hall has a strong defense with Taylor, an all-county player, along with seniors Aniya Flanagen and Taylor Coles and juniors Abby Dunkerton and Eastern Tech transfer Taylor Francis holding down the fort.
"Our backline is really strong," Testerman said. "I don't for see us giving up too many goals throughout the year that aren't top quality goals. Some cheap goals are going to go in, but the ones where they break down your backline and pass through you, I don't see us giving up too many."
The Gators needed that much experience to help protect junior goalie Maggie Lent, who has never played the position before.
"We recognized that we weren't going to have potential coming in," Testerman said. "Maggie was a great athlete and kind of fearless. We thought she would be a great candidate to learn the position. We are just working with her and making her the best she can be."
Lent record nine saves in a 4-0 victory over visiting Loch Raven on Sept. 17. Rachel Bohli, Sofia Perzan, Mel Garrison and Sabrina Testerman scored for Perry Hall.
The Gators were coming off an impressive 5-0 whitewash of Hereford, as Maria Ambridge scored twice.
Perry Hall also beat Towson, 5-2, on Sept. 19.
Those three wins followed a season-opening, 2-1 triumph over Patterson Mill and a 2-0 loss to Catonsville.
"They are very relentless, and maybe it's that loss in the county championship game," Hereford coach Brad Duvall said of Perry Hall. "It seems like it really has them focused."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun