Westminster wins, 1-0, over stubborn F.S. Key Two ranked teams stage classic battle in opener

Field hockey

September 09, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

It was a matchup of two defending state finalists last night, and when it was over 4A titlist Westminster, ranked No. 1 in the metropolitan area in the latest poll, had picked right up where it left off -- with a victory. It did not come easily, however, as visiting No. 9 Francis Scott Key made a tough stand before grudgingly yielding a 1-0 decision.

The goal came off a scramble following a penalty corner, and senior Lindsay Iadevaia was able to push the ball past the Eagles' new goalkeeper, Becky Arnold, with 12 minutes gone in the first half. Iadevaia's play was reminiscent of her work a year ago, when she had seven goals and seven assists.

A hit through into the offensive end by senior Cindy Reese led to the goal, a play cited by coach Brenda Baker. "We want to be aggressive, and she set it up," Baker said. "Any time you have a link make a play like that its a boost."

"As a link [midfielder], my job is to back up the forwards and be there for the defense," Reese said. "There is a lot of communication with each other -- it's one thing that is stressed -- and on that play, my offense talked to me, told me where to hit it."

Reese sees the possibility of this team being as good as last year's 16-0-1 entry because of its experience and depth, "but we'll have to work together."

That experience showed among the defenders, as seniors Carli Harris and Mary Dickensheets led a unit that thwarted the visitors on offense, allowing only three shots.

For Key, three-year starters Mattie White and Kelly Whitfield sparked a solid defensive effort, covering well in front of Arnold. The sophomore had an impressive debut, making eight saves. "Fantastic," coach Mindi Wagner called a performance that included several sparkling stops. "It wasn't a surprise, because she is such a level-headed player."

A year ago, Westminster shut out the Eagles, eventual losers in the state Class 1A championship game. Key has moved up to Class 2A this year, but the numbers don't mean anything to Baker.

"Key always plays us tough," she said. "It was the kind of game I expected. It's tough facing them in the first game, but I think the strength of both teams showed.

"They stayed right in there, and had a shot at the end. Our [goalkeeper] Emily White made a crucial save. That's the nice thing about her, she's always in the game. Even when she's not directly involved, she's on her toes, alert, and ready for anything."

Pub Date: 9/09/97

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