Point­ers shut out ri­val Ga­tors

Jerome scores early and Travagline late for No. 4 Spar­rows Point

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Glenn Gra­ham glenn.gra­ham@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Glen­nGra­hamSun

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.

BRIAN KRISTA/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

Spar­rows Point sopho­more Emalee Travagline cel­e­brates with team­mates af­ter ac­cept­ing her cham­pi­onship plaque.

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