Samaras six-shoots Panthers past Seahawks


Late in Friday's 13-4 girls lacrosse victory over South River, Annapolis sophomore Cristi Samaras was taking a much-needed break on the sideline.

Her sister, junior defender Cory, came over and asked, "How many goals did you score tonight?"

"I don't know," Cristi snapped. "Maybe two or three, but I wish I had scored more."

"Try six," said a nearby spectator, correcting her.

Cristi Samaras raised her county-leading total to 69 goals and led the top-seeded Panthers (11-3) over the visiting Seahawks (8-4) in the 4A-3A Region IV semifinal game, whose start was delayed for more than an hour by thunderstorms.

Cristi and teammate Shannon Cordell (three goals) sparked the offense that outshot the Seahawks, 34-9, including 22-1 in the first half.

Thanks to Cory, and defenders Emily Chones (one goal), Cheryl Ragland and Kirsten Chiari, the Seahawks' only shot in the first half came when sophomore Jen Ingram scored with 10 seconds left. The Panthers led 8-1 at the half.

South River's top scorer, Kristy Moltz (40 goals on the season) was held scoreless until tallying twice in the game's final 20 seconds. Freshman Jamie Pyle had the Seahawks' other goal, and Annapolis got one goal each from Cory Harmon (13 goals, eight assists), Heather Knutson (14 goals) and Kate Garrett.

L The Panthers' Lauren Feinstein (19 goals) had three assists.

Annapolis coach Sue Chittim, back on the sidelines after two weeks of maternity leave for the birth of her son, Kyle Thomas, witnessed "the best defensive game we've played this year."

"It was perfect," said Chittim, whose Panthers, ranked No. 9 in The Baltimore Sun poll, play the winner of the semifinal between No. 2 seed Severna Park, ranked fourth in the area, and No. 3 seed Broadneck, ranked 12th.

"I thought we completely controlled the midfield," Chittim added. "If we can keep playing like this, we'll be in good shape."

Both teams rode a four-game winning streak into the game, but injuries to the 13th-ranked Seahawks' best two players, Moltz and center midfielder Peggy Schreiber (21 goals, 18 assists), slowed them. Schreiber missed the game after suffering a knee injury while trying out for the national team two weeks ago, and Moltz was coming off an eye injury.

For the Seahawks, who were making their first playoff appearance since 1987, Schreiber had won 95 percent of her draws, including all but two in a regular-season 13-8 loss to the Panthers. Annapolis won 13 of 18 draws in Friday's game.

"We couldn't control the middle and the kids were very flat," said South River coach Paula Tobin, whose Seahawks led the regular-season meeting, 3-0, before losing.

"I have to be proud of what we've accomplished this year. It's been a very long time since we've been to the playoffs and I think with our young team, we could be back next year."

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