Bittinger helps Owls take control Senior scores five times, Westminster bounces back to beat South Carroll, 14-8

April 10, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

It was all South Carroll for the first 30 seconds of last night's game against visiting Westminster, but it was the Owls who made it look easy the rest of the way in Winfield.

After yielding a quick opening goal, the Owls answered with eight straight scores to come away with a solid 14-8 victory over the Cavaliers in the county opener for both teams.

The Owls (5-1) had it all working, starting with a five-goal effort from Amy Bittinger and ending with a fine performance in goal from Lisa Duke, who made 11 saves.

Perhaps most impressive was their smooth transition game which started with a tight-marking defense and crisp passing to set up Bittinger and the offense.

The solid showing was a response to the Owls' first loss of the season, against C. Milton Wright on Monday.

"When we faced C. M. Wright on Monday, that was the first time we were really challenged and they had pressure all over us," said Westminster coach Suzanne Peters. "We worked hard yesterday on supporting each other, and we did a lot of that. This is the best passing attack I've ever coached in my nine years."

Peters and the Owls were expecting a tight game, so when Becky Buppert scored off a feed from Lindsay Pyles 26 seconds in to give the Cavaliers (3-2) the lead, there was no panic.

Five players scored the Owls' first five goals before Bittinger took over midway through the first half. She was continually cutting to the goal, with three different teammates assisting on three of her five goals -- all coming in the first half. The senior raised her goal total to 26.

"I was very nervous and did the best I could. I got a lot of good passes from my teammates," she said. "I was worried after the C. M. Wright game because I didn't do too well, scoring only one goal."

Trailing 11-3 at the half, the Cavaliers made some adjustments and made a run -- cutting the Owls' lead to 13-7 with 5: 10 left -- but Duke made a big save on a Becky Buppert shot and Sarah Palaia (two goals, one assist) scored Westminster's final goal a little later.

"They're very fast, and they can catch," said South Carroll coach Stacy Stem. "Even when some of my kids were playing tight defense, they were catching the ball."

Jaime Yokay scored three goals to lead the Cavaliers, with Buppert adding two. Michelle Payne had two goals and an assist for the Owls, who also got two goals from Meghan Smith.

Pub Date: 4/10/97

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