Perry Hall's No. 10 girls soccer team fielded a walking-wounded defense yesterday, but with the adrenalin rushing against No. 6 Dulaney, it didn't matter.
Even with sweeper Lisa Goddard, stopper Susan Fortkiewicz and center back Jessa Phoebus taped to the hilt, all three played key roles in the Gators' 1-0 upset of previously-unbeaten Dulaney in a Baltimore County Division I league game.
"This was a pretty big win, because we had to get our confidence back after losing some of the games that we lost this year. We've had so many injuries," said Phoebus, who has missed most of the season with a pulled quadriceps muscle.
Not much could boost the Gators' confidence more than a rare second-straight victory over the Lions, who also fell to Perry Hall (8-4 overall, 5-2 league) in last year's regional semifinal.
Yesterday's game came down to a Bev Campbell header that slipped through a foot-wide space between the post and Dulaney keeper Tricia Dabrowski's hand. On a cross from Kerri Seiss, Campbell headed the ball just inside the far post in the 48th minute.
"That goal was just picture perfect," said Dulaney coach Amy Green. "It just doesn't get any prettier than that."
After the goal, the Gators packed it in on defense and the Lions threatened only a couple more times.
Usually a second-half team, the Lions (10-1, 5-1) seemed a step behind the Gators much of the game. With 11 shots and a chance at a handful of loose balls in front of the Gators' net, the Lions just couldn't cash in on their chances.
"That's something we've been trying to work on all season -- finishing," said Green. "We got all the way down there and fizzled. A couple gimme's today that we let go by. When we get in postseason play and we get those opportunities, we have to take advantage."
That's especially true when the Lions could end up facing the Gators again in the regional playoffs that begin in 10 days.
The Lions still have a shot at a share of the Division I title, but only if they win at No. 7 Loch Raven Thursday. After beating No. 8 Franklin yesterday, the Raiders (9-1) remain the only unbeaten team in Division I at 6-0.