Girls soccer: Centennial wins Southern Tournament

Keeper Katie Donegan held her ground and led Centennial to the championship in a tournament held at Southern High School. Centennial beat Southern-AA, 2-1, in a shootout to win the title.

Freshman Anna Mitchell scored in regulation against Southern but Southern "did generate more offense during the second half and finally scored off a corner kick to tie the game at roughly midway through the second half," said Centennial coach Steve Baxter. "They have a strong center midfielder who really gave us fits throughout the game."

During the shootout, Donegan made a nice diving save to change the momentum and give Centennial a chance to take control. "Our shooters did the rest to get the win." Baxter said.

The Eagles advanced to the final game after Donegan shut out Kent Island, 1-0. Nicki Mize scored the winning goal for the Eagles.

Baxter said his team's performance against Kent Island was "dominating."

"We held Kent Island to just three shots, but one was a fast-break attempt. Katie Donegan came charging out on the play and was able to deflect the shot wide for a corner. This was Kent Island's best chance," he said.

The Eagles had 21 "reasonable" shots at goal, he added. "The Kent Island keeper also made some good saves along the way.

"While it was nice to win the tournament, we realize we have to continue to improve in all aspects of the game," Baxter said. The team is struggling with injuries. One starter has already been sidelined for the season because of a serious injury and a second starter may soon join her.

"We have been working hard and will continue to make adjustments to find the right combinations on the field. We also have a nagging injury to another starter who we have held out of competitions for precautionary reasons," he said. Yet another starter is playing at less than 100% as she recovers from an ankle injury.

"This has really had a domino effect on our quality of play as we have had to continue juggling our lineup," Baxter said.

Mt. Hebron's defense nets shutouts

Mt. Hebron's defense posted two shutouts in regulation in the Walter Johnson Big Train Soccerfest Tournament over the weekend.

Unfortunately, the Vikings lost in a shootout to Damascus after 80 minutes of scoreless soccer. Freshman Nia Crump and junior Kelsi Folch each nailed their penalty kicks. Damascus went on to beat Walter Johnson for the title.

The Vikings' second shutout was a 1-0 win over Richard Montgomery. Junior Susie Halper netted the game-winner with a quick touch around Montgomery's keeper after a through-ball played in by Folch.

Foul weather, foul game

Archbiship Spalding outlasted River Hill, 5-4, today, in a high-scoring game of give-and-take.

"We played bad," said River Hill's Brian Song. "Not having practice for several days really hurts."

While Spalding not only practiced on artificial turf fields while Howard County schools were not allowed on rain-drenched fields, Spalding also played a game Saturday. All that added up to an edge for Spalding, said Song.

Spalding jumped to a 2-0 lead within the first five minutes but Alex Hamer, a freshman, scored back-to-back goals to tie the game. Spalding put in another goal before halftime, though.

Haily Emrick bent a beautiful corner kick that was the Spalding keeper touched, but the ball bounced into the net to tie the game at 3-0. Spalding put in the fourth goal later in the second half, but once again River Hill tied the game on a goal by Sheridan Street.

But Spalding got the game-winner on a controversial play that might have should have been called offsides, said Song.

But the lack of practice played the biggest role in the game, stressed Song. "I've never had so many missed practices in my seven or eight years." With hurricanes, tropical storms, rain and more rain, "it's been a tough year," he added.

Marriotts Ridge coach Robin Grey can feel Song's pain over the lack of practice.

"At this rate, I'm wondering if we will ever get back on the field. I think the girls are beginning to forget what it looks like," she said.


Technology is great, especially when it does as promised and makes our lives easier. Email and texting certainly have made the life of this sports reporter easier. I can communicate with coaches at almost any time of the day and get the information I need to make my deadlines.

Such was the case last week when I contacted Wilde Lake's new head coach Robin Sawyer by email. The coach quickly responded, explained how the Wildecats look this year, and talked about some of the team's top players. Just what I needed for the girls soccer preview.

Email has one shortfall, however. I couldn't hear the sound of Robin Sawyer's voice. Had I, I probably would have written that HE is a first-year head coach for Wilde Lake. Instead, I wrote SHE … I even went out on a limb and pointed out that HER daughter is also on the team.

Oops! It's one of those very embarrassing moments that a reporter will never live down. When I was an editor, one of my writers made a similar mistake, and I still remember getting that first phone call about the error.

The online versions of the Columbia Flier and Howard County Times have been corrected, but the print versions did not get the update in time.

Robin, though, is taking this good naturedly. I've talked to HIM, so I can hear it in HIS voice. I'm not just relying on the emails HE's sent.

"Oh, you Americans who can't work out that Robin isn't automatically a woman's name!" HE wrote. Haven't you "ever heard of Robin Williams or even more appropriate to me, Robin Hood?!!

"You'll be pleased to hear I've had several emails from my club players at the various Howard County schools, asking if I've had a sex change or got tired of coaching," HE continued.

Robin even admits that HIS job even makes this conversation more humorous.

"My area of expertise/research is adolescent sexuality. I'm a professor at the University of Maryland where I teach a course in human sexuality," HE said.

Robin Sawyer is from England and came here to play soccer at George Mason University. HE served as an assistant coach there after graduation.

For the record, Robin's wife's name is Anne and SHE is not coaching at Wilde Lake.

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