Despite losses, Owls expect to win Westminster 1993 high school field hockey preview

September 09, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Very few high school field hockey programs in Maryland could lose 11 top-notch players and still talk about going to the playoffs.

But that is exactly the mood around the Westminster High team this season.

"We always look to the playoffs," said Owls co-coach Brenda Baker. "These kids are part of a very successful program and don't lack motivation or hard work. The concentration is there. We just need to get experience by playing games."

Baker said that in 1989 the Owls had four sophomores on the team and went to the 4A playoffs.

Certainly Westminster is accustomed to being among the elite teams.

In the 18 years the state field hockey tournament has been conducted, the Owls have won four championships and been runners-up once. Anything less than a playoff berth is considered a disaster by the Owls.

The list of graduated players from last season's second-place 4A team looks like a who's who of high school field hockey in Carroll County.

It includes Tinah Houck who was Player of the Year in Carroll County and a first-team All-Metro selection. Houck, one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the county, scored 17 goals for the 13-3 Owls last season.

Three others gone are first-team All-Carroll County choices Nicole Batten, Aurora Brown and Denise Bollinger. Also departed are strong scoring threats Anitha Naganna and Jill Sisson, sweeper Erin McKinney and goalkeeper Sarah Martin.

Completing the list of graduates are Laurie Moody, Julie Weir and Mistie Wagner.

"We'll pull up sophs to fill out the team," said Baker, who directs the Owls along with Sue Hooper.

No one is likely to have the kind of offensive season Houck had last year but Baker and Hooper are hoping senior forwards Kristen Lewis and Jen Markowitz and junior forward Kristy Mathai can do enough scoring for the Owls to get by.

"I think we're going to be stronger on defense than offense," said Baker, who speaks highly of senior defenders Sara Warner and Sandi McBeth. Behind Warner and McBeth in the goal will be junior Andrea Kirby.

"She's doing everything she's supposed to in the net," said Baker.

The Owls also will be counting on sophomore midfielder Megan MaGee to give them some speed in the transition game.

In response to a question about just how good this version of Westminster field hockey will be, Baker said, "We'll see."

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