Pointers shut out rival Gators
Jerome scores early and Travagline late for No. 4 Sparrows Point
It was a much different Sparrows Point girls soccer team that returned to the Baltimore County championship game against rival Perry Hall on Wednesday.
The result, however, was much the same for the No. 4 Pointers.
Freshman forward Alayna Jerome scored in the first half, then sophomore midfielder Emalee Travagline provided a late insurance goal as reward for a strong second half as Sparrows Point claimed its third straight crown with a 2-0 win over the No. 9 Gators in a rematch of last year’s final.
With 10 new starters and a roster dominated by sophomores and freshmen, the Pointers (12-1) avenged their only regular-season loss. The Gators dropped to 11-3.
Sparrows Point coach Joe Lambert said incorporating all the new talent took some time, but that it hasn’t affected the team’s win total much.
“You can see the camaraderie, and it’s been a good transition from last year, when there were13 seniors that we lost,” Lambert said. The Pointers played as one Wednesday. Jerome, who knew only a little about last year’s county championship that was de- cided after 11 rounds of penalty kicks, made sure to get the Pointers off to a good start. Taking a square pass from Skyler Owens, she finished off a chance from 14 yards for a 1-0 lead with 16:12 to play in the first half.
“It was amazing,” Jerome said. “I heard everybody in the stands cheering and all the girls were coming after me. It was crazy and I really loved it.”
In protecting the lead in the second half, the Pointers stayed aggressive and gave little space to Perry Hall standouts Rachel Bohli and Phoebe Canoles, while creating their scoring chances with sophomore Julie Lynch the focal point with strong runs and shots.
With 7:48 to play, Travagline scored on a ball sent in by senior Kasie Lambert that was then nudged ahead by Dani Zacierka. Freshman goalie Jaddah Foos finished with seven saves and received strong support from the Pointers’ back line.
“I thought [Sparrows Point] was much smarter with the ball tonight and they worked very hard to play the ball to their feet and string passes together,” Perry Hall coach Matt Smoot said. “I think in the second half, we had three quality chances that, if their keeper doesn’t make a great save on or we could have put away better, things could have gone a different way. But I think in terms of the run of play, who connected their passes better and who worked harder to get to those balls, that’s where they beat us. So hats off to them.”
The teams have developed quite a rivalry in the past year.
In last year’s championship game, they played to a 1-1 tie through overtime before the Pointers claimed the title in the 11th round of penalty kicks.
In this year’s regular season meeting Sept. 16, Perry Hall got an overtime goal from Kara Dietrich to claim a 2-1 win that ended the Pointers’ 36-game winning streak, which dated to the 2014 season.
Next, the teams move on to their respective region playoffs with both earning the top seed and an opening-round bye in their districts.
Three-time defending Class 1A state champion Sparrows Points, which competes in the South region’s Section I, hosts Friday’s Loch Raven-SEED winner Tuesday.
In the Class 4A North, Section I, Perry Hall will play at 6 p.m., Tuesday at CCBC-Essex against the winner of Friday’s game between Catonsville and Western Tech.
Sparrows Point sophomore Emalee Travagline celebrates with teammates after accepting her championship plaque.