Panthers rebound, 9-2


The healing began at 2:48, when Josh Morgan took a pass from his twin brother, Eric, drove a couple of steps down the middle of the field and scored for a 1-0 lead.

By game's end, the anger and hurt from last Friday's upset loss to Broadneck had lessened somewhat for No. 10 Annapolis (2-1).

Eric Morgan scored four goals and assisted on two others, leading the Panthers past host North County, 9-2, yesterday.

Josh Morgan added two goals. Jon Brianus and Ryan Sears each had one goal and one assist, and Geoff Mears scored once.

"Broadneck was pretty much a wake-up call," said Eric Morgan, alluding to Friday's 7-5 defeat. "We knew we had to play as a team today. Everybody was hustling. We came out pumped up. We knew this was either a steppingstone, or we were going to fall if we didn't win this one."

The Panthers stayed on their feet.

The first quarter belonged solely to Annapolis, which held a 10-2 advantage in shots and a 3-1 lead. Eric Morgan scored twice after his brother's goal, and the Knights didn't answer until 1:41 remained in the quarter, when Tim Walker converted a pass from Chris Mangum.

The Knights (2-1) didn't score again until 3:32 remained in the game. Bob Lincoln took a pass from Walker with Annapolis a man down and beat Panthers goalkeeper Ryan Van Riper.

"We played without character and we played without any poise on offense," said North County coach Paul Shea. "I know we're capable of playing better than this. We've got to step it up quite a few notches. We practiced the same way. We had a horrible practice [Monday]."

By halftime, the Panthers had a 14-4 advantage in shots and were ahead, 5-1, on goals by Josh Morgan and Brianus less than a minute apart.

Eric Morgan scored a man-advantage goal at 6:17 of the third quarter off a pass from Brian Rentch, and he scored again at 7:42 for a 7-1 lead.

"The guys are real upset from Friday's game," said Annapolis coach Dan Hart, "but we understand that one game does not a season make. Broadneck was ready and we weren't ready to play.

"Today, our backs might even have been up against the wall. We were fired up, and we were very intense on what we wanted to do. We played hard, we played smart and we played together. When you have those three elements, you're going to do all right."

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