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Lady Barons Assume the Throne of Bethesda

Posted Friday, October 10, 2008 by Calvin Cobb
Lady Barons Assume the Throne of Bethesda, BCC 2 Whitman 1 (2OT)
            Having defeated Holton Arms and Walter Johnson, on October 7th the Lady Barons took on the visiting Walt Whitman Vikings. Whitman was fresh off a surprising victory against perennial powerhouse Quince Orchard, and came into the game with deservedly high expectations. In one of the most exciting games in recent memory, both teams played very well but the Barons prevailed in the second overtime, 2-1.
The first half saw the Barons dominating possession, controlling the pace of the game and playing with an intense efficiency that was very effective.   The Vikings were tough inside the circle, however, limiting the Barons to outside shots, and on occasion mounted effective break-outs carrying into the Barons’ defensive end. These forays rarely ended in a shot, as defenders Julia Pernick, Ruth Anderson, and Meredith Storm consistently combined to keep the ball to the outside. On the one or two occasions the Barons got in close to the Viking’s goal, Vikings goaltender was extremely acrobatic in turning aside a flurry of shots. On a penalty corner midway through the half, however, Clare Becker inserted to Kathryn Mirsky, who made a great crossing pass to Sunny Cobb for the one-timer. Cobb’s shot got through to the goaltender where Becker was right on the spot and out-muscled the local defenders for the score. The half ended 1-0 in favor of the Barons, who were clearly carrying the play to the Vikings all over the field.
The Barons’ continued to dominate possession in the second-half, maintaining their high level of intensity and efficiency, and limiting the Vikings’ offense to sporadic outside shots. But the Vikings converted a break out, using their team speed to outnumber the Barons inside the circle and tied the game 1-1. The Barons kept the pressure on to the end, but the score remained 1-1 when the game ended.
In the first overtime, the outcome became more difficult to predict as the play went back and forth – for the most part the Barons controlled possession and the Vikings relied on blasts down the field looking for a fast break. The Barons had several in-close opportunities, and just missed scoring as they were repeatedly thwarted by the Vikings defenders. On a penalty corner Kathryn Mirsky, with her back to the goal, made a 180 degree turn on the ball and blasted a perfect shot toward the left post that bounced 2 feet up when it reached the post. The game was clearly going to end right there, except the Vikings’ goaltender (who was in the middle of the goal when the shot was taken), impossibly kicked out her pad and steered the ball wide. The amazed crowd was stunned, and could do nothing but marvel at what was truly an unbelievable athletic accomplishment. It would have been easy for the Barons to let down after that, but they did not. The Barons kept going hard and the Vikings matched them. 
In the second overtime, the Barons adopted the Vikings’ strategy and broke out of their circle with a blast downfield. Page Donnelly and Clare Becker streaked after the ball, gained possession, and before the Vikings could recover combined to work it in front to a perfectly positioned Rachel Ruda, who finally got the ball past the Vikings’ netminder for the winning score. Ruda received Amy’s Apple for her consistently good effort.
In all, the victory was a step forward for the team. Whitman clearly expected to win this game and were very disappointed. The Barons were the better team, but both teams played well consistently throughout. Games like this make Queen of Bethesda a title worth holding.
Write Up By Calvin Cobb

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