Early lapse costs No. 3 Westminster in 2-0 semifinal loss to Walt Whitman Owls fall in states for third straight year

November 10, 1995|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

For three minutes this season, the Westminster Owls weren't their usual dominating self. It came at the wrong time.

The No. 3 Owls gave up two goals in the first 2:10 yesterday afternoon against Walt Whitman -- as many as they've given up all season long -- and it was all the Vikings would need in coming away with a 2-0 win in the Class 4A state semifinals at Goucher College.

It's the third straight year the Owls' season has come to an end in heartbreaking fashion at the state semifinals. This season was a little more special with the Owls rolling through the regular season and region playoffs perfect. They finish the year 14-1 with Whitman (15-1) advancing to tomorrow's state finals against Severna Park.

Whitman jumped on Westminster at the start, gaining two

straight penalty corners. On the second, Zelinda Welch scored from in close after Rebecca Mitchard brought the ball back in the circle.

The second goal came even quicker with Kathleen Shannon scoring from the right side.

"I don't know what happened," said Westminster co-coach Sue Hooper. "They went past our forward line, past our defense and then it went in our goal. It happened so fast and then the second was even faster."

The Owls called a timeout, regrouped and dominated the rest of the game much the way they have all season, but they couldn't get anything past a stingy, packed-in Whitman defense led by senior sweeper Molly Cutler and senior Erika Benke.

The Owls owned a 9-3 edge in both shots and penalty corners, but Whitman's two early goals were the important stat.

"I think the early goals frustrated them and it's hard to come back from that," said Whitman coach Mary Pat Veihmeyer. "They had one of the stronger midfields we've seen and did a nice job of backing each other up. We did a good job to hold them off."

Most of the play was spent in Westminster's offensive end, but the Owls had a difficult time with the Whitman defense.

In the first half, senior Ann Brennan had her pass through the crease hop over the stick of junior Linnea Paguyalan.

Sophomore Becky Towns had two shots off a penalty corner early in the second half. The first was turned aside by Whitman goalie Liz Hamilton, the second never reached the cage. Shortly after, Brennan beat a couple of defenders along the left side before sending a shot off the side of the cage.

It was another frustrating ending for a senior-laden Owls team that endured a pair of 2-1 overtime losses in their two previous state semifinal appearances.

It doesn't diminish the fine season the Owls enjoyed in becoming the first Westminster field hockey team to go undefeated (12-0) in the regular season.

"What more can you ask for," said co-coach Brenda Baker. "The girls gave 100 percent and it was year-round."

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