Owls' young defense gets chance to step up 1993 Carroll County high school soccer preview Westminster

September 07, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

Coming off their first county title in more than a decade, the Westminster Owls enter the 1993 boys soccer season with a partial make-over.

Coach Chuck Beaver, entering his 10th season, will have young talent to go along with a solid group of veterans.

The Owls' defense has gone in cycles the past few years. Last year's senior-laden group, which played a major role in the Owls' 5-0 county mark and 8-3-1 overall record, came up through the junior-varsity program playing as a unit.

This year's version is again untested, with the exception of returning goalie Adam Messer and stopper Aaron Goldman -- both seniors. Paul Hajewski, Chris Geiman and R. D. Larkin are juniors who enjoyed JV success and will now get the test at the varsity level.

L "It's really like going back to two years ago," Beaver said.

"There are places to be proven [on defense], and so far, so good. These three guys have been playing together since they've been freshmen. Now, it's a matter of stepping up to the next level. It's almost like deja vu from the kids who graduated last year. They played as a complete unit throughout high school and had plenty of success."

On offense, the Owls need someone to take over the do-it-all role left behind by the graduated Tony Fiore, who last year led the county in scoring with seven goals and three assists.

Beaver has a number of candidates, and says he likes it that way.

"We don't have a big-name guy out there this year, but that should be a plus," Beaver said.

"It gives us a lot of opportunities for a lot of different players."

Senior Steve Hockstra leads a strong cast of veteran midfielders. Fellow seniors Jason Magin, Brian Parker and Tim Gifford join Hockstra to form one of the most formidable midfields in the county.

It's also a midfield with plenty of depth, with senior Brad Towns, a transfer from Delaware, and junior newcomers Rob Ridgely, Chris Santella and Paul Binetti.

"The depth is really giving me a hassle as to who to start, but it's a nice situation," Beaver said.

"It will give us a lot of possibilities, and it will be important to determine where to put everyone to best help the team."

Junior Jason Hewett will be the primary threat up front after a sophomore season in which he scored two goals and added a team-high eight assists. Joining him up front will be junior NTC newcomers Jason Safely and Jamie Eybs, along with veteran Adam Tozer.

"We have an interesting balance, going young in back, old at midfield and young again up front," Beaver said.

"We have strong leadership with [Aaron] Goldman and [Jason] Magin as our captains -- neither are flashy, but lead by example. Messer in goal also will help the young defense. It's just going to be an interesting year."

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