Saturday, November 03, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Leonardtown Wins 11th Straight Game
Leondardtown 2, Arundel 0
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, November 3, 2007; E06

Last night's 2-0 victory over visiting Arundel was the first time since last November the Leonardtown girls' soccer players had to tuck themselves into their wool caps, ear-bands and long-sleeve undershirts.

No problem, however, because the chilly 4A East Region semifinal showed that the Raiders are heating up at just the right time -- again.

Leonardtown won its final seven games en route to last season's 4A state title, but stumbled early this season in a 2-1 loss to Patuxent on Sept. 17 -- a defeat that cost the Raiders (14-2) the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference title.

"They are hungry," Coach Jennifer Henderson said. "For the second year in a row we didn't win our conference championship. In our conference, it's tough because every team wants to knock off Leonardtown, so our girls have learned that they have to be up for every game. We learned from that loss."

The Raiders have since outscored their opponents 53-1 en route to 11 consecutive victories and a berth in Tuesday's 7 p.m. final at ninth-ranked Severna Park (14-2).

The Raiders will be trying to extend a shutout streak that reached 10 last night. The last time they allowed a goal came on Sept. 21, in a 6-1 victory over Chopticon. They've allowed just six goals all season.

Offensively, the Raiders have plenty of depth. Their first goal, in the 29th minute, came on the strength of a pair of junior midfielders who are not even regulars in the starting lineup. Jessica Cooke found Davi Clark, who headed in the cross for a 1-0 lead.

Junior midfielder Emily Gehrig and sophomore forward Johanna Rambo have each scored 10 goals for an offense that is averaging 4.4 per game.

"We have just as good a team as last year if not better with our chemistry," said Gehrig, who gave the Raiders the 2-0 lead in the 43rd minute when she finished Rambo's 15-yard right-footed cross with a leaning header near the right post. "The loss to Patuxent helped us realize what we want in the end."

Arundel, which played in its first regional semifinal in six seasons, dropped to 11-4.

Leonardtown 2, Arundel 0 Raiders Give Back: On Oct. 22 at Breton Bay Golf Club, the Leonardtown boys' and girls' soccer teams held a golf tournament to benefit wounded military personnel. Arundel's Achilles': The Wildcats suffered two of their four losses to No. 9 Severna Park, including a 2-1 loss to the Falcons in last week's Anne Arundel County championship.

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