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By JAMES A. McCRAY III

Staff writer

During a Patuxent Panthers timeout midway through the first half of Thursday’s road contest against the Chopticon Braves and, amid a huddle of Patuxent Panthers players, one voice rang out louder than any other.

“I want to hear the ball hit the back of the cage. I want to hear that boom,” the voice said.

Ironically enough, the voice that was behind the message was also behind the sound only minutes later, hitting the back of the cage, creating the “boom” sound and giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

Lydia Lorenson wanted to hear the boom, created the boom and helped lead the way to a Patuxent 3-0 victory, its eighth-straight victory of the season.

“I love the sound of the ball hitting the back of that goal,” Lorenson said. “It’s a great sound and a great feeling.”

As far as reaction from teammates after her timeout speeches, she says, “It pumps them up.”

Lorenson and company would hear the “boom” once more later in the first half when Kayla Alderman hit the cage to give Patuxent a 2-0 lead only four minutes before halftime.

The last “boom” came late in the second half when Jacquelyn Nava scored the third and final goal of the game.

“I mean, I’m not going to lie, we were very nervous about this game,” Lorenson said. “Chopticon has been getting better over the years and we just made sure that we were ready for them and we went out as hard as we could.”

A huge part of the victory for Patuxent (8-0, 6-0 SMAC) and head coach Lynn Powell came from the team’s ability to pass and create transition offense.

“We talked a lot about team chemistry and the fact that entire team has to play.” Powell said. “We don’t really have one standout player … so they know, being a small school, you have to figure out how the team chemistry is going to be. So, yes, on offense and defense, it’s about all of them working together.”

Two of her players who worked well together on Thursday were defender Jordan Dinopoulos and goalkeeper Breanna Stack (2 saves), the two holding strong in tandem against a Chopticon team that picked up its offensive aggressiveness in the second half.

“She had a great game,” Powell said of Dinopoulos. “What I liked about today, being a sophomore, she has to step up and she has to be a leader because she is that last line of defense. Her and Bre’ are back there talking and figuring out what’s going to happen.”

Dinopoulos admitted that her team’s offensive prowess helps her as a last-line defender.

“It makes you feel so much better because you know you don’t have to stress as much,” Dinopoulos added. “It’s so stressful being back there and it’s like everything is lifted off of your shoulders.”

Three teams have separated themselves atop of the SMAC standings in Patuxent, Leonardtown and Huntingtown. For the Panthers, Leonardtown (Oct. 10) and Huntingtown (Oct. 17) both remain on its schedule during the final stages of the season.

“We have a lot of hard games coming up,” Powell said. “I told the girls that this is the start of the second half of the season, this is where you get challenged and this is where your guys prove yourselves.”

Chopticon and head coach Anne Vallandingham fell to 2-3 overall and 2-3 in SMAC after the Patuxent loss.

“They never give up,” Vallandingham said of her team.

She also added, “[We had] 12 minutes of intensity and then we backed off. I mean, you have to stay in the whole game. You have to stay in the whole game.”

Patuxent played Northern on Monday evening, a 1-0 win, and will host Thomas Stone at 4 p.m. today.

Chopticon was at Calvert on Tuesday, a contest that finished too late for inclusion into this edition, and will host Great Mills at 4 p.m. Thursday.

jmccray@somdnews.com

Patuxent 3, Chopticon 0

Patuxent 2 1

Chopticon 0 0

Goals: Patuxent (Lorenson, Alderman, Nava)

Saves: Patuxent (Stack 2); Chopticon (Farrell 3)