No. 10 Loch Raven upset No. 8 Patapsco's bid to finish the regular season unscored upon with a 2-1 victory in a Baltimore County 2A-1A Division field hockey game yesterday.
The win sends Loch Raven into the Baltimore County championship Saturday against Dulaney, the 4A-3A Division winner. Last year, Patapsco tied with Perry Hall and shared the title.
This year, Patapsco, with nine seniors on the roster, expected to return to the title game, especially since the Patriots (9-1 overall, 7-1 league) boasted the stingiest defense in the Baltimore area.
But the top defense finally yielded yesterday to the area's most potent offense. Kristin Patscowsky scored the Raiders' 36th goal of the season and broke the Patriots' shutout streak midway through the first half.
The visiting Raiders (10-0-1, 8-0) got started with a well-placed crossing pass from Gia Trionfo on the right wing. The Patriots' defense nearly cleared the ball, but Kim Prough pushed the ball to Patscowsky, who sent a dribbler between keeper Salina Maines' foot and the post.
"We had no idea they hadn't been scored on until right after that goal," said the Raiders' Lauren Volk, second in the metro area in scoring with 19 goals and three assists. "They have a good defense, and we knew this team was our toughest competition. We've known that the whole season."
Despite the shock of the goal, Patapsco didn't let up. Its leading scorer, Andrea Bridges, nearly tied the game with 6:30 left but Raiders keeper Cho Toung stepped up to make a knee-high save to preserve the lead.
Both teams moved the ball quickly in an even second half, with all the scoring coming in the final 1:06.
Volk sparked the Raiders' second goal with back-to-back shots late in the second half. Maines stopped both, but Trionfo got the second rebound and scored for a 2-0 lead.
That goal proved crucial when the Patriots' Michele Thomas answered 21 seconds later.
Patapsco threatened to tie in the final seconds with Bridges breaking down the left wing. Raiders sweeper Karena McCray intercepted the ball and drove it far enough upfield for time to run out.
"If we had had another minute, we would have scored. I know we would have," said Thomas, whose squad still will advance to the Class 2A regional playoffs.