Bierne burns T. Johnson as Owls advance in playoffs Westminster striker scores twice, assists in 3-1 win

Girls soccer

November 03, 1996|By Ed McDonough | Ed McDonough,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FREDERICK -- The last two times Westminster played Thomas Johnson in girls soccer, a dislo ated shoulder kept the Owls' leading scorer, Courtney Bierne, from playing.

Bierne made sure everybody at a chilled Thomas Jonson stadium knew her shoulder was just fine last night, scoring twice and assisting on another goal as Westminster topped the Patriots, 3-1, to advance to the Class 4A-3A West Region final.

"We knew that [Bierne] was a tremendous player," said Patriots coach Chuck Nichols. "She was probably the difference."

Westminster coach Bill Cooper was thrilled with the play of his junior striker, but said there were other reasons the Owls beat a team that had beaten them by the same score in the regular season.

"We made some mistakes against them the first time, and we also watched them play Dulaney in the regions," said Cooper. "We noticed they kept their sweeper back, so we kept our center striker up with the sweeper.

"We also noticed their wings liked to work the ball down the sidelines, and we had nothing but speed on the outside to keep up with them."

Westminster drew first blood in the 14th minute, when Bierne took the ball down the left side and looped a pass to Bridget Gieman, who streaked down the middle of the field for an easy shot.

Thomas Johnson tied it about 11 minutes later, with speedy sophomore Lisa Lushbaugh outrunning two Westminster players over the last half of the field to beat Owls goalkeeper Amanda Cofflin.

Westminster dominated the second half.

The Patriots got no shots in the first 20 minutes of that half, and Westminster's forwards pounded away. But it took a a corner kick in the 10th minute to give the Owls the lead. Freshman Becki Ridgeway lofted a textbook kick right in front of the goal that Bierne headed in.

With just over two minutes to play, Bierne added an insurance goal, knocking home a rebound after a save by Patriots goalie Gina Ceneviva.

The win improved Westminster to 8-7 overall and 4-1 since Cooper took over for Ron Patton, who left during the season for personal reasons.

"When we got the new coach, everything came together," said Bierne. "Before, we didn't have confidence in ourselves."

Westminster will meet Frederick, 1-11 in the regular season, in the region final.

Pub Date: 11/03/96

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