With a hard-working group of seniors and some young, talented players appearing ready to make the jump to varsity, expectations were high at the start of the North Carroll girls lacrosse season.
But a 10-0 record, a county championship that ended Liberty's seven-year run and a chance at a perfect regular season when they close out at Westminster on Thursday?
"It's been great," said North Carroll coach Denean Koontz following her No. 13 Panthers' county-clinching 17-11 win at South Carroll last night.
"I knew going in with this group of seniors, as hard as they've worked, and the talent of our younger players, we could put it together. I'm just happy for the team."
Last night in Winfield, the youthful speed was on display early and then it was the seniors' turn to take over in the second half when South Carroll (3-8) got close.
Sophomore Kellyn Hentz scored three of the Panthers' first four goals and they jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the first half.
The Cavaliers settled in and eventually got to within 13-9 after Heather Stoetzer scored two goals in a span of a minute with 12: 38 left in the second half.
But North Carroll senior Carisa Kreichauf finished after collecting a loose ball in front and fellow senior Annie Eggers scored the next two goals to give the Panthers a 16-9 lead with 10 minutes left. They never looked back.
"We have a whole bunch of seniors and then the juniors and sophomores brought us some speed and more talent," said Kreichauf. "[The seniors] are going out with a bang."
"We're having tons of fun," Kreichauf said. "You have to have fun or it's not worth playing. It gets us pumped up."
South Carroll coach Stacy Stem said there was a little more to North Carroll's game than simply having fun.
"Their speed, catching and throwing. Even their hard passes they catch," she said.
The Panthers were first to the ground balls last night and got good distribution from the back to set up a number of scorers.
Hentz and Kreichauf both finished with four goals and an assist. Eggers and sophomore Danielle Shearer both had three goals and an assist.
South Carroll was led by senior Jaime Yokay, who scored five goals and added an assist.
Pub Date: 4/29/97