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Scorpions have reason to smile


Atholton's field hockey team entered yesterday's home game against Oakland Mills having lost 21 straight county games dating back to 1997.

Oakland Mills came into the game winless and having been outscored 27-0 in two county games, including a 13-0 rout Wednesday against River Hill.

In a county where four teams are ranked in The Sun's top 15, this was a winnable game for either team.

Atholton took more shots, had more corners and generally controlled the play. Oakland Mills, however, put the ball in the cage.

Senior Veronica Burr scored in each half, the first goals of her career, and senior goaltender Becky Ingold was superlative with 14 saves to lead the Scorpions to a 2-0 Howard County league victory.

"It feels good to win. Especially after yesterday [Wednesday]," said first-year Oakland Mills coach Jennifer Clements. "It's so frustrating for them. You can see it in their faces. Being able to see their faces after a win is nice."

Smiling faces. Happy faces.

"It feels really super good," Burr said.

Oakland Mills (1-5 overall, 1-2 league) has won only one county game in each of the last two years, both against Atholton (1-5, 0-3). The Scorpions knew this was their chance. Burr could sense in warm-ups her team was ready.

"We just got sick of it," Burr said. "We needed to be intense and do something about it. This was the first time we were intense the whole game."

Burr, who moved from defense to forward this season, scored with 15:26 left in the first half off an assist from Beth Anne Meeder. It was one of the few times Oakland Mills' offense was in the circle. Atholton outshot the Scorpions, 11-2, in the half.

Oakland Mills hadn't scored in the second half this season, but Burr took Stephanie Franey's pass and made it count with 20:16 remaining. From then on, Oakland Mills' defense, led by Ingold, Elizabeth Russell and Lindsey Petersen, did the rest.

Atholton outshot Oakland Mills, 20-7, in the game, but could not get past Ingold.

"She played great," Clements said of Ingold. "Did you hear her screaming the entire game? Off the field she's quiet and pretty shy. But once she gets on the field she becomes a little animal."

And Ingold didn't let Wednesday's game against River Hill phase her one bit.

"I left yesterday's game on the field," Ingold said. "I'm not even thinking about that."

Atholton coach Beth Pressler, whose team ended a 27-game losing streak with a season-opening win over Glen Burnie, said her team "got outplayed" and added: "I think we're the better team, but they wanted it more."

"We had so many more shots on goal. It's mind-boggling that one of them didn't fall," said Pressler, whose team has been shut out the last five games. "We had some moments of good play, but our hearts were not in it."

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