Centennial gets Purcell her 200th victory; Eagles top No. 5 Friends; River Hill upsets Arundel; Notebook


Centennial and River Hill field hockey teams entered the win column for the first time Wednesday with upsets of ranked teams.

The Eagles gave coach Gail Purcell her 200th victory at the school with a 2-1 decision over fifth-ranked Friends. River Hill, which had scored one goal in three previous games, crushed 12th-ranked Arundel, 5-1.

Just last Saturday, Centennial had lost to Chesapeake-AA and Hammond in its own tournament, causing Purcell to say: "They didn't play with a lot of desire and heart. I was disappointed."

Against Friends, though, Purcell said the Eagles "played with great tenacity the whole game. They moved to every ball. They made things happen."

Laura Angle scored off Tara Molesky's pass to tie Friends, which had a 1-0 halftime lead, with 14 minutes left to play. Bethany Bunce scored the game-winner with four minutes remaining.

"We controlled the second half," Purcell said. "Our defense stepped up and cleared the ball out, and our midfielders [Nicole Simon, Molesky, Lauren Mathews] were in the circle setting up shots."

Eagles goalie Donna Boccuzzi made 14 saves.

Purcell, who has a 200-83-19 record in 23 seasons, said shecouldn't "pick a better game" to win her 200th. "It's very nice to have played so well against a team that is traditionally strong. It gives me a lot of pride in the girls."

Defending county champion Centennial has won seven league titles, four regional championships and, in 1995, became the first and only county team to earn a state field hockey title.

River Hill's last game before Wednesday was 15 days earlier, a 1-0 overtime loss to C. Milton Wright. Against Arundel, the Hawks played like they're capable of, according to coach Martha Henderson.

"We looked amazing. Everything clicked," said Henderson, whose teams in three seasons had never scored more than three goals in one game. "People were at the right place at the right time. The attack was so aggressive and not letting the ball out of the circle. We were taking shot after shot."

Amanda Bile scored twice off penalty corners, and Kristi Kruger scored once to give River Hill a 3-1 halftime lead. Sophomore Erika Hyrowski added second-half goals.

Goalie Shannon Hadley made eight saves, and Jackie Sass, Lindsay Zumbrun, Lindsey Startt and Melissa O'Malley also had strong performances.

"They knew they were capable of that, and they were happy to see it happen," said Henderson of her team's performance. "I was proud of them."


Wilde Lake's surprising start hit a snag last night when Glenelg defeated the Wildecats, 17-15, 6-15, 16-14, 15-12.

Wilde Lake defeated Atholton, 15-7, 15-10, 15-6 Wednesday to improve to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the county. The Wildecats were 1-15 overall and 0-13 in the league last year.

The county's top two teams -- top-ranked Centennial and fourth-ranked River Hill -- play at 5: 15 p.m. Monday at River Hill.

Girls soccer

No. 15 Hammond will defend its title at the third annual Atholton Tournament this weekend. The Golden Bears (2-0) will face McDonough at 3 p.m. today, and Atholton (1-0-1) plays Howard (1-0) at 4: 45 p.m. Saturday's consolation will be at 10 a.m., and the championship is scheduled for noon.

Howard's only game was 10 days ago, and it's been 11 days since Hammond and Atholton last played.

Atholton coach Wendell Thomas has asked that every player in the tournament bring a bag full of non-perishable grocery items to be donated to Howard County's Grassroots Shelter. Thomas said admission -- $2 for students, $3 for adults -- will be waived for those who bring a bag of groceries.

Senior Melissa Wilder is no longer playing for Glenelg. Wilder, who plans to major in pre-med in college, is involved in a mentoring program that requires her to work afternoons and evenings.

"It just became too difficult to do both," she said.

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