Eagles, Panthers set for opening round bout
Bohemia Manor and Perryville faced off twice during the regular season.
On Tuesday, the two Cecil County rivals will once again share the field, only this time with their seasons on the line. The Eagles (83-1) will aim for a rare threegame sweep when they host the Panthers (3-7) in the 1A East Region Section I semifinals.
Bo Manor topped the Panthers 5-3 in the season opener on Sept. 8, before edging them 2-1 on Sept. 27.
“Honestly, I don’t like it just because I feel like it gets a little dry once you’ve seen somebody so many times. No matter how close the games were, it’s tough to beat a team three times. It’s going to be a tough one,” Eagles coach Lissy Haney said. “We definitely can’t look past them at all. They gave us a run for our money the last time we saw them.
“We have our plan for them because we’ve seen them in the regular season twice. We know what to expect and we’ll just see which teams show up ready.”
For four Bo Manor se- niors, the playoffs represent one last chance to experience the success of their freshman season, when the Eagles captured the program’s first-ever region title. Goalie Emily Park, forward Erin Horsey, midfielder Makenzie Stallone and defender Hailey Husfelt will all take their home field for the last time on Tuesday.
“They would really like to re-enact their freshman year when they won the region title and went to states,” Haney said of her seniors. “We have some really tough road blocks in the way, but they’re strong leaders and they’ve showed that leadership through the whole season, so we’ll see what happens.”
Perryville first-year coach Cay Weller referenced a familiar cliché as her team prepares for Bo Manor.
“The benefit of playing Bo Manor a third time is that third time’s a charm,” Weller said. “In all seriousness, the last loss against them was a hard one for us to take. I think the girls are eager to have a re-match and show their abilities and how they’ve grown as a team through the season.”
The Panthers will be look- ing for similar success as last year, when they opened postseason play with a win over Havre de Grace.
“I think last year’s playoff success shows a lot about our team. We went into the Havre de Grace game last year as underdogs and I think that’s how we’re going into the Bo Manor game. The positive side is that when you go in as an underdog you go in with the attitude of wanting to prove yourself. I think that will bring us to a higher intensity of play,” Weller said. “This week at practice we’ve been focusing on working as a team and having fun on the field as a team, which I think is important because love for the game helps you play your best.”
For whichever teams wins, the result is a potential rematch in the section final against Patterson Mill (10-2), which opens the playoffs at home against either Havre de Grace (210) or Joppatowne (0-9).
The Huskies ended the seasons for both Bo Manor and Perryville last year.
Follow Jordan Schatz on Twitter: @Jordan_Whig
Sophomore Kirstin Walz and the Bohemia Manor girls’ soccer team will host Perryville in the 1A East Region Section I semifinals on Tuesday. It will mark the third meeting this season between the two Cecil County rivals.