Westminster defeats North Carroll, 4-2, in soccer league opener

September 09, 1992|By Mike Nortrup | Mike Nortrup,Contributing Writer

HAMPSTEAD -- The weather reigned supreme Sunday afternoon as Westminster beat North Carroll, 4-2, in their Mason-Dixon Soccer League opener on the waterlogged Hampstead Elementary School pitch.

A steady wind kept the action to the western end of the field most of the rainy afternoon as first North Carroll, then Westminster, took its perilous turn defending that end.

Westminster, though, broke free from the clutch of the elements for two late second-half goals to break a 2-2 tie and win.

The fast-paced contest saw several outstanding offensive efforts.

Brothers Mike and Ed DeVincent were the big story for Westminster, with Mike getting three assists and Ed an assist and two goals.

Anderson Mensah had North Carroll's two goals.

The game matched old rivals, who faced each other years ago as members of the North Carroll and Westminster varsity soccer teams, and now do it as men for whom the sport is a weekend escape.

Westminster coach Robert Bird, himself a 1980 Westminster High grad, had hoped for an easier opening-game opponent.

"It's always tough against North Carroll. You have to play a 90-minute game against those guys," Bird said.

With the first-half wind in its face, though, North Carroll rarely got past midfield.

Ed DeVincent put Westminster up, 1-0, with an early goal and only excellent goaltending by North Carroll keeper Chris Walsh kept the score from mounting higher.

Later in the half, North Carroll capitalized on one of its rare forays into Westminster territory.

Mensah's corner kick sailed over Westminster keeper Mark Tonti's head into the net when Tonti partially was screened by leaping North Carroll forward Tim Warehime.

Near halftime, Westminster broke that 1-1 deadlock with a fast-break goal.

Mike Haddock passed from midfield to Mike DeVincent, who sent a perfect cross to Rick Romeo coming down the left side.

Romeo hooked a 15-footer into the left corner of the North Carroll net to put his team up, 2-1, at halftime.

The teams then switched ends for the second half.

With the wind advantage, North Carroll dominated and tied the game on Mensah's early third-quarter penalty kick after a tripping call on Westminster.

To find themselves in a 2-2 tie after dominating much of the game might have unnerved some teams, but not Westminster, said Bird.

"It didn't break our backs. We've been together too long for that," he said.

Tonti kept it at 2-2 with several excellent saves until his team broke the tie with 12 minutes left.

Then, climaxing a quick strike upfield, Ed DeVincent neatly headed a boot from brother Mike to Lee Sturgill all alone in front of the net.

Sturgill drove home a 10-footer to make it 3-2, and Ed DeVincent added the last goal with four minutes remaining.

"We didn't defend well on their crossing plays," said North Carroll coach Ross Burbage of his squad, which has many new players in their early 20s.

"Westminster's an older team and they played smarter. They have a lot of guys over 30 on that team."

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