Sparrows Point girls soccer rolls past Patapsco, Eastern Tech

(Updated 10/18/17)

- By Patrick Taylor -

Since dropping their second game of the season to Bel Air, the Sparrows Point girls soccer team has been unstoppable, winning eight games on the trot. This should come as no surprise considering the Pointers have established a dynasty in recent years, picking up multiple state championships along the way.

There was concern with changes at the helm and players graduating that this year might be a bump in the road. However, first-year head coach Lori Sexton and her team, led by junior forward Julie Lynch, have proven that rumors of their demise were exaggerated.

The girls team has not faced a loaded schedule this year, but they have handled business when needed (outside of the contest against Bel Air). Perry Hall, the only team to beat Sparrows Point last year, fell to the Pointers 2 - 0 back in September. Earlier this month, the girls held onto a tight 2 - 1 win over a solid Loch Raven team. And last week the girls absolutely manhandled Patapsco, winning by a score of 11 - 0 before taking down a strong Eastern Tech team by a 6 - 0 scoreline.

This team is very well balanced, with no real weak spot on the field. Kalli Bell anchors a back line that has only seen three goals get by them all year. Up front they have senior leadership provided by Tori Aulestria, with Alayna Jerome and Jasmine Pinter converting at will. So far on the season, Jerome has seven goals while Pinter has knocked in eight.

This team has balance and strength at every level, but the midfield is where they shine. And that is largely due to Lynch.

Last season, Lynch stepped up as a sophomore to help lead her team to a championship. This season, everything has been flowing through the impressive junior.

Through 10 games, Lynch has put up a staggering total of 16 goals and seven assists. And there have been plenty of goals that started with incisive passes from Lynch that she has not received assist credit on. Simply put, she is the catalyst of this team. While the rest of the team is highly talented (and incredibly deep), they will only go as far as Messi... I mean Lynch, takes them. Judging from last week’s performances, they will be going pretty far again this year.

Against Tech, Lynch led the way with three goals and an assist, followed by Pinter with two goals and Jerome with one. The Pointers jumped out to an early lead and never really looked challenged from an Eastern Tech team that was simply overmatched.

The story was essentially the same against Patapsco, with Lynch piling on three goals and an assist. And speaking to the balance of the team, six other Pointer players got in on the action that day, including Pinter and Aulestria with two goals each.

Sparrows Point jumped out to a quick lead against Patapsco before adding three more by the end of the first half. They added seven more in the second.

For their part, Tech has played well this season, with their only losses coming against Perry Hall and the Pointers. They have ties against Rising Sun, Loch Raven and Hereford, but have picked up six wins along the way. They have made appearances in the Baltimore Sun’s Top 15 ranking throughout the year.

But that is not good enough for the Mavericks, who are looking to make the state tournament for the first time in years. They have managed to pick up every feasible win along the way, but they have struggled to put away the tough opponents. They will need to tough out some better opponents if they want a shot at bringing a championship to Essex.

For the Pointers, however, everything looks set for yet another deep run. I struggle to think of an area where they could even improve. Really, complacency is the only thing that will stop this team, and I do not see it happening.

If you have not checked out a Sparrows Point soccer match over the last few years, you are really missing out.

The Pointers host Mercy on Thursday evening, Oct. 19, to close out the regular season. The game will start at 6 p.m. Eastern Tech, meanwhile, will host Patapsco on Thursday afternoon for a 3:45 p.m. kickoff.

Around the league
Sticking with girls soccer, Perry Hall rebounded in a big way from a 4 - 2 home loss at the hands of Hereford last week. They followed the loss with an emphatic 10 - 1(!) win over Dulaney. The Gators, who fell in the state finals last year, are now 9 - 2 - 2 on the year and looking like they will make another deep run in the postseason. Perry Hall will host Carver on Thursday at 5:15 p.m.

On the boys’ side of things, Eastern Tech’s perfect season continued with a 4 - 1 win over Sparrows Point and a 1 - 0 win over Catonsville in overtime. Through 12 games this season, the Mavericks have handled business rather easily. The one-goal win over Catonsville is only the second time this season that Tech has been held to one goal. The shutout represents their ninth clean sheet on the year. Keeping opponents scoreless in 75 percent of games is absolutely nuts, but somehow Tech has done it. By the time this issue hits the stands, the Mavericks will have faced both Dundalk and Patapsco - both of which should be wins. Tech will enter the postseason among the favorites to bring home a state championship.

Moving away from soccer and into football, a few teams made big gains over the weekend while a few effectively had their hopes and dreams crushed.

With a 49 - 21 win over Dundalk last weekend, Perry Hall firmly held onto their position in fourth in the 4A/North region. Quarterback Tyler Holley again fired on all cylinders for Perry Hall, and Dundalk’s defense (like most defenses the Gators have faced this season) had no answers. The Gators will look to keep their slim lead over Mervo as they enter into a week eight contest against an incredibly formidable Franklin squad. Franklin, one of the best teams in the county, is coming off of a tough loss to Milford Mill and will be out for blood. If you are looking for something to do on Friday night around 7 p.m., you might want to consider making your way over to Franklin for what should be one of the best games of the season.

Eastern Tech suffered a tough loss at the hands of Chesapeake last Friday, edging out a victory with a score of 22 - 18. The win all but guarantees a Chesapeake postseason berth in the 1A/North region, while Eastern Tech was pushed from last spot in to first spot out in the 2A/North region. Hereford, despite losing to Tech just weeks ago, leapfrogs the Mavericks into fourth. Tech has a chance to regain the fourth-place spot with a contest against Overlea slated for Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at CCBC Essex. Overlea currently sits in fourth in the 1A/North region, and while they are certainly looking like they will be featured in the postseason, they need to pick up at least one more win.

Finally, Parkville manhandled Catonsville over the weekend, walking away with a 35 - 0 win. The win puts the Knights in third place in the 3A/North region, but just barely. The Knights travel to Kenwood for a 6 p.m. start on Oct. 20.

Penalties hold Dundalk back as the Owls fall to Parkville in crucial contest

Penalties hold Dundalk back as the Owls fall to Parkville in crucial contest
Dundalk's defensive line was overpowered on the day, allowing Parkville running back Adam Bigelow to move the ball at will. Photo by Patrick Taylor.

(Updated 10/11/17)

- By Patrick Taylor -


The Dundalk Owls fell to the Parkville Knights 21 - 12 on Saturday, Oct. 7, a day that was mired by poor officiating and flags galore.

While the officiating was certainly poor (at one point after a penalty the referees forgot where a ball was originally spotted, leading to a 10-minute delay in the game), the Owls repeatedly shot themselves in the foot. The line was consistently penalized for false starts and holding, players got involved in shoving matches (note: officials always notice the retaliation) and plays that could only be described as boneheaded wiped out big gains for the Owls.

On one such play in the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Treshawn Ray finally got something going, finding wide receiver Christian Fitzgerald streaking across the middle. Fitzgerald took the ball and burned his way downfield, leaving a trail of Parkville defenders in his wake for a 65-yard touchdown. Only the play was wiped out as an unnecessary block in the back occurred after Fitzgerald was already on his own. The ball was brought back to the spot of the foul and the Owls were subsequently stopped.

Parkville got the game off to a fast start, returning the opening kickoff to about midfield before ripping off a huge run up the middle for a touchdown and a 7 - 0 lead just 18 seconds into the game.

Ray and running back Isaiah Antol tried to get the Owls’ offense running, but Parkville’s front seven stayed strong all game, with defensive tackle Keon Stokes plugging up the interior and Emmanuel Anokwute doing a tremendous job setting the edge to block off sweeps to the outside.

After forcing a three-and-out on Parkville, Dundalk looked to be in solid position after Ray connected with a receiver for a huge gain, but the play was wiped out due to an illegal man downfield.

It looked like Parkville would extend the lead on the next drive, but Dundalk’s defense held firm on the goal line. I mainly bring this up because Noah Hambrick made a beautiful play in the back of the endzone on fourth-and-goal. The ball was tossed his way but he clearly couldn’t make a real play on it and instinctively went into defense mode, swiping the ball out of the hands of a Dundalk defensive back and pinning the Owls down near their own goal line. Two plays later, Hambrick came up with a huge interception on Ray.

Parkville would extend their lead not long after, with Adam Bigelow forcing his monstrous frame through the Dundalk line for what would prove to be the game winner.

While the Owls were sloppy on the day, Ray is looking like he has a big future for Dundalk. The young quarterback did well to keep his composure and would have had a bigger day if not for mistakes on the line and mistakes with his mechanics. There were a few passes he should have hit, but I have firm confidence that within the year he’ll be on the same level that Darrius Sample was. So the present might be cloudy for the Owls, but the future is certainly bright.

And the win for Parkville puts them in great position in the standings, moving them within less than a point of Towson in the 3A North standings. Parkville will look to take possession of fourth place when they take on Catonsville on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

Around the league
Chesapeake continued their winning ways, picking up an 18 - 14 win over Towson on Saturday. The win keeps the Bayhawks near the top of the pack in the 1A/North region, and they’ll look to keep their win streak alive when they take on Eastern Tech on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at CCBC Essex.

Speaking of Tech, the Mavericks hold fourth place in the 2A/North region after a crucial 26 - 20 win over Hereford last Friday. Tech now sits with a 4 - 2 record and they have a lot of momentum going forward.

Lastly, Perry Hall continued their dominance with a 55 - 14 win over Dulaney on Friday evening. Perry Hall holds a slight lead for the fourth spot in the 4A/North region. They host Dundalk on Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m.

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Recreation Council Programs

KC Dancers
Registration for the KC Dancers 2017 - 18 session will take place at Stembridge Community Center, 99A Stemmers Run Road in Essex, in the Activity Room on Tuesday, Sept. 12, and Thursday, Sept. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Boys and girls ages 3 and older are welcome. Classes begin the week of Sept. 26. Late registration is accepted during classes until Oct. 31. For more information, contact Mark Thrasher at 443-845-7211.
In-Shape Aerobics
The Bengies-Chase Recreation Council will hold In-Shape Aerobics and Yoga classes at Vincent Farm Elementary School, 6019 Ebenezer Road in White Marsh, beginning Monday, Sept. 18. Aerobics classes held Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; Yoga classes held Tuesdays. All classes 7 - 8 p.m. Call the recreation office at 410-887-5194 for more information.
Zumba Fitness
Bengies Chase Recreation Council Zumba Fitness at Oliver Beach Elementary School - new session begins Monday, Sept. 18. Classes for Zumba fitness are held Mondays and Thursdays - all classes 7 - 8 p.m. Call the recreation office at 410-887-5194 for more information.
Middle River Indoor Soccer
Registration will be held at the Victory Villa Community Center, 404 Compass Road in Middle River, Thursday, Oct. 26th, 6 - 8:30 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 6, 6 - 8:30 p.m. (add $10 late fee). No refunds after Nov. 6. Register online at www.middleriverrec.com Sept. 22 - Oct. 6 and save $10. Contact middleriversoccer@gmail.com with questions.
Middle River Victory Stars
The Middle River Recreation Council will hold registration for their Victory Stars dance program on Tuesday, Sept. 26, and Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Victory Villa Community Center, 404 Compass Road in Middle River. Classes are open to boys and girls ages 3 and up. For more information, call the rec. council office at 410-887-0234 or email mrvictorystars@gmail.com. Information and registration also available at www.middleriverrec.com.
Middle River Boys Wrestling
Registration for Boys Wrestling with the Middle River Recreation Council will be held Oct. 2 and 9, 6:30 - 8 p.m. at the Victory Villa Community Center, 404 Compass Road in Middle River. Registration fees are $80 individual or $130 brothers (family). There will be additional tournament fees during the season. First year wrestlers must supply a copy of their birth certificate. To register online or for more program info., visit www.middleriverrec.com.
Ceramics
Bengies Chase Recreation Council Ceramics at Bengies Chase Community Building - new session/registration begins Wednesday, Oct. 4. Classes for Ceramics held Wednesdays - all classes 7 - 9 p.m. Call the recreation office at 410-887-5194 for more information.
Indoor Lacrosse
For youth boys and girls ages 6 - 14. Registration online through Oct. 31. Cost is $75/player for new players only. Weekly games from September through November. All games played at Northeast Regional Recreation Center (NERCC), 7501 Oakleigh Road in Parkville. Equipment: inquire at registration. No cleats permitted on indoor field. For more information or to register, visit www.middleriverlacrosse.com.
Winter Cheerleading
For girls aged 5 - 15. Registration fee is $130 per cheerleader if uniform is needed. Registration dates and locations: Monday, Oct. 30, 6 - 8 p.m. at Middle River Middle School, 800 Middle River Road; Thursday, Nov. 9, 6:30 - 8 p.m. at Victory Villa Community Center, 404 Compass Road; and Saturday, Nov. 19, 11a.m. - 1 p.m. at Victory Villa Community Center. For additional info., contact Veronica at brnblume@yahoo.com or 443-977-1274, or visit www.middleriverrec.com.
Back River Basketball
Local high school and college coaches from Chesapeake High and CCBC teaching the fundamentals of basketball to introduce girls to the sport. Six Saturdays of fun training, followed by six weeks of in-house games. Registrations will be held Wednesday, Nov. 1, and Thursday, Nov. 2, 6 - 8 p.m. at the Back River Community Center, 801 Back River Neck Road in Essex. Contact Coach Tully at 443-992-5376 or ladylionsbball@gmail.com for more information or visit www.ladylions.org.
Middle River Youth Basketball
Registration for youth basketball will be held at the Victory Villa Community Center, 404 Compass Road in Middle River, on Monday, Nov. 6, 6 - 8 p.m. Cost is $70 for co-ed participants in kindergarten through second grade or $140 for boys third though seventh grade. An adult must accompany all children that register and bring a copy of their birth certificate. For more information, contact Randy at 443-509-7195 or mrrcoachrob@gmail.com. Registration also online at www.middleriverrec.com.