Long Reach's girls soccer team had lost 14 straight county games entering Wednesday's home contest against Howard. And in five county games this season, the Lightning had been outscored 18-1.
But that's history.
Second-year Long Reach stunned the Lions, 5-3, Wednesday for its first league win. And the victory was made sweeter in that Howard is a very close rival and had beaten the Lightning 5-0 a month ago in the final of the Atholton Tournament.
"The girls were very motivated. They wanted to win," said first-year coach Jennifer Peduzzi.
Peduzzi said that when the Lightning (4-7 overall, 1-5 league) played Howard (4-7, 1-5) in the tournament final, her players were too concerned about the Lions' top players. On Wednesday, "they were focused on scoring and winning. Howard had to worry about marking up, and at times they didn't. Our girls were left open, and fortunately for us, they were able to put it in the net."
Sophomore Kai Freeman scored twice, and Thema Napier, Alison West and Shannon Pusey had goals for the Lightning, TC which led 4-1 at halftime.
Peduzzi said Wednesday's turnaround had everything to do with confidence.
"It use to be a kick-and-run game with us," said Peduzzi, who credited Cindy Maxwell (sweeper) and Lauren Fawcett (midfield) with strong performances against Howard. "Finally, they've learned to spread out the field and keep it on the ground. Their confidence, as a team, is building. They have confidence in each other."
In other girls soccer news:
River Hill (8-1 overall, 6-0 league) can clinch at least a tie for the county title with a win today at Centennial (5-3-1, 5-1). Hammond and Oakland are tied for third with 4-2 records. Three regular-season games remain.
Glenelg (2-5-4, 2-2-2) has played in five overtime games this season, including the last four in a row. The Gladiators lost to River Hill, 2-1, tied Wilde Lake, 2-2, beat Howard, 3-2, and tied Atholton, 2-2.
Centennial is leading its division, and Hammond and Oakland Mills are neck-and-neck in the other as the regular season winds down.
Here are the division standings after Wednesday's matches: Centennial 9-0, River Hill 6-2, Glenelg 6-3, Mount Hebron 5-5, Wilde Lake 0-9.
Hammond 7-2, Oakland Mills 6-2, Howard 4-6, Atholton 2-7, Long Reach 0-9.
The division winners will meet for the league championship Oct. 29 at a neutral site.
The draw for region tournaments in field hockey, volleyball and soccer will be made Sunday in North County High School's auditorium in Anne Arundel County. It's open to the public.
The field hockey draw begins at noon, followed at 1: 30 p.m. by volleyball. The boys and girls soccer draw starts at 3 p.m. To get to North County, take Interstate 695 South (toward Glen Burnie) to Exit 5 (Route 648). Turn right onto Route 648. Turn left at the second light (First avenue) to the school.
First-round playoff games in field hockey start Wednesday. Here is the region alignment for county field hockey teams:
Class 1A West: Glenelg, Hammond, Oakland Mills, Poolesville, Brunswick, Catoctin.
Class 2A West: Centennial, River Hill, Francis Scott Key, Middletown, Urbana, Walkersville, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Einstein, Rockville.
Class 2A South: Mount Hebron, Atholton, Howard, Long Reach, Franklin, Owings Mills, Western Tech, Lackey, McDonough.
Class 3A North: Wilde Lake, Broadneck, Catonsville, Milford Mill, Woodlawn, Liberty, North Carroll, South Carroll.
First-round soccer games begin next Friday and Saturday. Here is the region alignment for county girls soccer teams:
Class 1A-2A South: Oakland Mills, Centennial, Hammond, Howard, Carver A&T;, Owings Mills, Pikesville, Western T&E.;
Class 1A-2A West: Glenelg, Atholton, Francis Scott Key, Brunswick, Catoctin, Boonsboro, Smithsburg, South Hagerstown, Clear Spring, Williamsport.
Class 2A-3A South: River Hill, Wilde Lake, Mount Hebron, Long Reach, Patuxent, LaPlata, Lackey, McDonough, Thomas Stone, Gwynn Park, Chopticon, Great Mills.
The most popular sport?
The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association reported in its fall newsletter that 34,070 girls participated in sports last year. Which activity had the highest number of participants?
The answer: Field hockey, with 4,684 athletes.
Next came softball (4,598), basketball (4,480), soccer (4,229) and track and field (4,069). The others were volleyball (3,653), indoor track (2,942), lacrosse (2,695), tennis (2,037), cross country (1,941), swimming and diving (1,665), badminton (358), gymnastics (207), golf (107), wrestling (4) and baseball (1).
Pub Date: 10/17/97