Sciukas hits mark with 3 goals, keeps Westminster rolling Top-ranked Owls cruise past No. 13 Centennial, 4-0

Field hockey @

September 17, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Katie Sciukas had all summer to work on her offensive hockey skills; Becky Towns had about two weeks to adjust to a new position. Between them, they sparked visiting and No. 1-ranked Westminster (3-0) to a 4-0 victory over No. 13 Centennial (1-2) yesterday.

Sciukas, a junior in her first varsity season after two JV seasons, attended a summer camp, and has a cage at home where she can hone her shooting skills in the off-season. It paid dividends as she scored her first varsity goal 14 minutes into the game, then added two more -- one in each half -- for good measure.

Towns, a senior who began the preseason looking forward to a third straight season as a starting forward, was switched to link after a foot injury to Cindy Reese left the Owls short at that position.

She collected her first point of the season with an assist on Sciukas' second goal. It came with seven minutes left in the half.

"It felt like luck," Sciukas said of her scoring outburst. "I just happened to be there."

Actually, her goals were a by-product of hard work. "I put in a lot of extra time, and, now that there is no offside, we have been practicing on position around the goal.

"Right now, I'm concentrating working with others on the line. After three games, our communication is much better."

Towns was quick to point out a big difference between playing up front and in the middle. "I was used to looking for someone to get me the ball; now I'm the one that has to do it for someone else," she said.

"There is a huge change of responsibility. The link controls the field, is the center of the game, and supposed to see everything. We support the offense and lead the defense. It's constant motion.

"It's a frustrating position almost, in a way, because of its intensity. It's mental as well as physical. You switch back and forth so quickly -- offense to defense; defense to offense -- you really have to get into the game.

"When I first started [at link], I played as though I didn't want to get in somebody's way. Now I'm more comfortable, although I find myself having to stop once in a while and think about what I have to do."

With links Towns and junior Kelly Klima, along with dependable center back Carli Harris (two assists) leading the way, Westminster had the better of the play in the middle of the field, giving it an advantage in the offensive end. It finished with a 26-5 margin in shots.

The decision proved that this year's unscored upon Westminster squad is equally adept, whether it has plenty of time off between games, or practically none. The Owls opened a week ago Monday, then played Monday and yesterday.

Pub Date: 9/17/97

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