Senior Brian Carneal exorcised demons, sophomore Stephanie Connelly extended her reign and together the pair gave Northeast a sweep of the individual championships at the Maryland Golf Tournament yesterday at Clustered Spires in Frederick.
The pair overcame chilly temperatures, an early misty rain and a snail's pace of play in a state tournament that was restructured significantly because of the sniper attacks in the Washington area. The tournament was moved from its usual location at the University of Maryland, postponed a week and shortened from two rounds to one.
None of the extenuating circumstances mattered to Carneal, however, when he sank a three-foot par putt on the 18th hole to secure a 4-under-par round of 68 and a one-stroke victory over Nick DeSimone of Liberty. Last season, Carneal missed an eight-foot putt on the tournament's final hole of regulation that would have forced a playoff with All-Met champion Joe Gross who transferred from McDonough to play for La Plata this season.
"To lose last year by one stroke, coming down the stretch bogeying two of my last four holes, it just makes this even greater," said Carneal, who made six birdies and two bogeys in his seven-hour round. "Plus I'm a senior. This is my last tournament. I figured I had to go out and do something."
In the team competition, Churchill won the 4A/3A championship with a combined score of 307. Liberty placed second with 318, and a highly touted La Plata squad was third with 321.
Carneal, who started on No. 1, made birdies on the par-4 12th and par-5 14th to take the lead. His kick in birdie on No. 14 was the result of a spectacular bunker shot that settled inches from the cup. Another sand shot secured the tournament. Needing a par to win on 18, Carneal blocked his approach into the left greenside bunker but recovered beautifully to set up his tournament-clinching putt.
Connelly, who broke the state records for low single round and low two-day total last season, cruised to her second consecutive championship. The sophomore All-Met was even par through 16 holes before bogeying the final two for a 2-over-par round of 74. Connelly beat both Christina Gonzalez of Great Mills and Michelle Grilli of Pikesville by two strokes.
Saints Stay on Top
Lizzie Culvahouse scored two goals as No. 1 St. Stephen's/St. Agnes (10-0, 8-0) overcame a sluggish start to shut out National Cathedral, 4-0, in an Independent School League field hockey game in Northwest Washington.
The Eagles (7-3-1, 5-1) gave up Culvahouse's first goal 10 minutes into the game and gave up a driving blast from All-Met Kathleen Miller less than two minutes later to fall behind 2-0.
Senior forward Lydia Denkler scored on a pass from Hallie Routh with 3 minutes 49 seconds remaining to account for the final margin.