Just one week after posting one of the biggest victories in school history, over perennial county power Liberty, the North Carroll Panthers took the field last night in frigid Hampstead desperately trying to avoid three things:
Windburn, frostbite and, most of all, a letdown.
The 15th-ranked Panthers succeeded in at least one of the three with their 12-8 victory over visiting South Carroll.
While the winds gusted and the temperature took a dive, the hosts were outshooting the Cavaliers, 44-13, to earn a key Carroll County league victory.
"You always worry about a letdown," said North Carroll coach Denean Koontz. "You have to go into each game with the attitude that you have to play your hardest game yet."
And for most of the way, the Panthers (7-0 overall, 2-0 in the league) did just that, using their speed to beat the Cavaliers downfield.
Once they got there, though, they had a tough time putting the ball in the net, in part because of the outstanding goal play of recent JV call-up Kristi Kincaid (20 saves).
Said Koontz: "We dominated, but the problem was we couldn't finish."
After falling behind 3-0 early, South Carroll (3-5, 0-2) stayed within three for most of the game, getting as close as 7-6 after the third of Lyndsay Pyles' four goals with 20: 27 left.
"We moved up the JV goalie, and I think the kids played with a little more confidence," said South Carroll coach Stacy Stem.
On this night, however, it wouldn't be enough.
Attack Kellyn Hentz led the Panthers with four goals and an assist, Carisa Kriechauf had three goals and Danielle Shearer and Annie Eggers added two each, as the Panthers broke open a tight game by scoring five of the final seven goals.
"We were ready for the challenge," said Hentz. "It was a big win for us. First we beat Liberty, now South Carroll."
North Carroll started quickly, grabbing a 3-0 lead on two goals by Shearer and one by Hentz.
South Carroll answered with goals by Pyles and Jamie Yokay (the first of three) to cut it to 3-2 8: 05 into the game, but the hosts then responded with three straight scores to extend their lead to 6-2.
The Panthers led, 7-4, at the break.
No. 2 Roland Park 12, No. 5 St. Mary's 7: Alli Harper scored four goals to help the Reds stop upset-minded St. Mary's in an Association of Independent Schools A Division Lears League game.
Pub Date: 4/18/97