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Perry Hall duo eyes elusive soccer goal


It's usually a primary topic of conversation between Kathleen Fort and Amie Stone, this common goal they have during this, their senior year.

They talk about it while they're both working at Champions Sports outlet in White Marsh Mall. And if they don't reach their goal, it'll likely be a sore issue during their seasons as teammates in indoor track and outdoor lacrosse.

Time is running out on the best two strikers on Perry Hall's girls soccer team.

All they have wanted since their freshman seasons is to win some kind of soccer title for Perry Hall. Yet neither player knows what it's like to win a county title, Region I or Class 4A-3A state crown, although their teams have reached the Class 4A-3A playoffs each year.

It's not as if the scoring duo hasn't done all it can to get thGators over the top. So far -- just as in the previous years -- Stone, a right-side forward, and Fort, on the left, are among the area's scoring leaders.

Stone leads the Gators with 14 goals and eight assists, followed by Fort with seven goals and eight assists.

"Every year, we're so close, only to lose by like a goal osomething," said Stone, a second-team All-Metro pick last season. "This year, though, we really want it. And I think we should win it."

Perry Hall (5-1-1), the area's 12th-ranked team, has faced its biggest regular-season tests, losing an overtime thriller, 3-2, to No. 3 Dulaney, and battling No. 13 C. Milton Wright to a 1-1 tie.

Against C. Milton Wright, the Gators had to play the entire overtime one player short because Fort was red-carded during regulation.

"I feel that it's my role, to get to the ball and to keep everyone up for our games," said Fort, an honorable-mention All-Metro last season. "I was trying to get everyone fired up for the game, but what I did against C. Milton Wright was an accident."

Perry Hall coach Pat Sokoloski said, "I think both of them are Division I players with great skills. They know how to read each other extremely well. With them, we're very dangerous from both sides of the field."

The improved play of junior Barbara Ann Smith, who has 11 goals and three assists from her center forward position, has spread the scoring and poses an even greater dilemma for the Gators' opponents.

"They [Stone and Fort] always count on me to be there when the ball is crossed in," said Smith. "With their help, I can make a name for myself this year."

Smith doesn't have to worry about that. The trio has already attracted defensive attention from opposing teams. "Fort and Stone have always been dangerous since their freshman year, and we've always tried to mark them tightly," said C. Milton Wright coach Ken Dawson.

"Smith just broadens things for them, giving them more depth and giving you more to worry about."

Fort and Stone have watched Dulaney (1989), Towson, (1990and Loch Raven (1991) win county crowns. In addition, the Gators have not advanced out of the Class 4A-3A Region I, losing to C. Milton Wright each time.

In the 1990 regional championship game, the Mustangs edged Perry Hall, 3-2, before losing to the Falcons in the the state semifinals.

Last year, the Mustangs nipped the Gators, 2-1, in an overtime regional semifinal, then lost to the championship game to Dulaney -- a team Perry Hall tied, 4-4, during the regular season.

"Amie and I have been friends for a long time, on and off of thfield," said Fort. "Our relationship makes a big difference, and you see how well we work together on the field. I think this is our year. It's something we've really been working for."

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