Winters Mill senior Karlie Pruitt talks about playing in the county senior all-star game.
Carroll County’s field hockey seniors have spent four years battling each other.
But those who suited up one last time in a senior all-star game at McDaniel College’s Kenneth R. Gill Stadium Monday did away with the traditional school versus school rivalries that defined their high school playing careers.
Team White featured girls from Liberty, South Carroll, and Winters Mill while players from Century, Francis Scott Key, Manchester Valley, and Westminster and comprised Team Dark in the fifth annual game.
Team White topped Team Dark 4-0.
“It was an awesome experience,” Winters Mill senior defender Karlie Pruitt said. “Some of these girls I have never met or played any sport with. It was great to get to know the girls.”
Team White, coached by Julie Radnoff (South Carroll), Christine Bradley (Winters Mill), and Brenda Strohmer (Liberty), dominated the early part of the game and peppered goalie Becca Entwistle (Century) with seven shots in the first 13 minutes.
Team Dark generated little offense during that stretch, failing to record a shot on a penalty corner.
WM’s Hailey Bennett gave Team White a 1-0 lead on its third shot of the game less than three minutes into play. Brayden Ziegler, Bennett’s Falcons teammate, was credited with the assist.
More than 24 minutes had elapsed before Team Dark, coached by Terry Duryea (Manchester Valley), Katie McDonald (Westminster), and Lori Knights (Francis Scott Key), recorded a shot on goal.
Keeper Corinne Kearney (South Carroll) saved the shot from Annika McCallum (Man Valley).
Team White boosted its lead to 2-0 with 40 seconds remaining in the first half. Entwistle saved a point-blank shot from Brooke Heffler (Liberty), but Madi Radnoff (South Carroll) was in perfect position to knock in the rebound.
Lauren Turner (Liberty) and Pruitt added second-half goals.
“Everybody’s season is obviously over, but it’s especially nice for them to come out one more time and play with each other in a really fun event,” Duryea said. “They knew they had one more game to play with people in the county no matter where they lost in the playoffs.”
The all-star game took place two days after Francis Scott Key lost in the Class 1A state final to Patuxent, 2-0, and five days after Hereford edged Liberty 1-0 in overtime in the 2A state semifinals.
“The state semifinals was a sad and tough loss,” said Heffler, a forward. “Playing in this game was upbeat and fun. It was a good way to end the season.”
“There are recruiting opportunities, and the game has gotten bigger because college coaches are coming,” she explained. “There are certainly players that know they want to play college hockey, but there are girls that don’t know they want to play until their last game.”