Ga­tors end Point­ers’ 36-game streak

Di­et­rich knees it in as up­set hands Spar­rows Point its first loss since 2014 sea­son

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Glenn Gra­ham glenn.gra­ham@balt­ twit­­nGra­hamSun

The cross came in from the right side and there was traf­fic in front of and be­hind Perry Hall sopho­more for­ward Kara Di­et­rich.

But she got to it first and used her knee to score the Ga­tors’ big­gest goal of the sea­son, four min­utes into over­time Fri­day for a 2-1 win against ri­val No. 7 Spar­rows Point, which won its third straight Class 1A state cham­pi­onship and beat the Ga­tors in last sea­son’s Bal­ti­more County cham­pi­onship game on penalty kicks.

Sopho­more Phoebe Canoles, who scored No. 11 Perry Hall’s first goal, as­sisted on the game-win­ner. The Ga­tors ended the Point­ers’ 36-game win­ning streak, which dated to the 2014 sea­son.

In con­trol for much of the game and get­ting the open­ing goal from Canoles early in the sec­ond half, Perry Hall ap­peared to be on its way to vic­tory in reg­u­la­tion. But Spar­rows Point (4-1) sent more play­ers for­ward late and it paid off when fresh­man Alayna Jerome scored on a cross from sopho­more Julie Lynch with three min­utes left in reg­u­la­tion.

The Ga­tors (4-1) re­grouped in over­time to win.

“It was crazy. I was just in the mo­ment [and got my] knee on it,” Di­et­rich said. “Our whole team played great to­day. We pos- sessed the ball, worked it up the field great and it was just awe­some. It was tough [to get scored on late]. It re­ally hit us hard, but we knew we had to pull through.”

While Perry Hall re­turned many of its key play­ers from last sea­son, the Point­ers grad­u­ated a stel­lar class of eight se­niors. For much of the game, the Ga­tors spent more time with the ball and cre­ated more scor­ing chances.

Af­ter a score­less first half, Perry Hall started fast in the sec­ond, with se­nior Rachel Bohli send­ing a through ball to Canoles, who scored from 14 yards for a 1-0 lead.

The Ga­tors de­fense, led by Madi­son D’Am­ico and Aya Neal, stayed or­ga­nized un­til Spar­rows Point’s late break­through. Lynch used some crafty foot­work on the right side be­fore send­ing a cross to the near post for a one-timer by Jerome.

With Perry Hall com­pet­ing in Bal­ti­more County’s North/ West di­vi­sion and the Point­ers in the South/East, there’s a strong pos­si­bil­ity the teams will meet again in a re­match of last year’s ti­tle game.

“I think they de­served to win — they were the bet­ter team for the ma­jor­ity of the game,” Spar­rows Point coach Joe Lam­bert said. “I think for maybe 20 or 30 min­utes we pushed the is­sue. With 10 min­utes [left], I took a de­fender off and put an­other for­ward on and it def­i­nitely cre­ated a few chances for us and we got our goal, but for the ma­jor­ity of the game they were the bet­ter team.”

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