Westminster puts away Centennial Sciukas scores 3 goals, No. 1 Owls keep rolling

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

No. 13 Centennial (1-2) stayed with No. 1 Westminster (3-0) in the scoring department for the better part of 15 minutes before running into one of those lulls that has characterized the Eagles' early play this season.

The two turned out to be fairly evenly matched between the 25's, although the visiting Owls were able to apply enough offensive pressure to keep Centennial off balance in the scoring area.

At the end, junior Katie Sciukas had three goals; Lisa Duke, one, and the Owls had a 26-5 margin in shots.

"Through our scrimmages and first two games, we'd go like gangbusters for 15 minutes, then the other team would have a little spurt, and we'd lose our intensity," Centennial coach Gail Purcell said.

"It seems when they get some adversity, they dwell on it, instead of regrouping. In those earlier games, we'd get back into it in the second half. We didn't do it this time, but that will change.

"We have seven starters back [from an 11-3-2 team], but are still trying to blend in the others. I think a lot of it is mental."

Westminster, defending state Class 4A champion and 19-0-1 over the past two years, had Sciukas score her first varsity goal with 10: 51 left in the half, as All-County back Carli Harris collected the first of her two assists.

Three and a half minutes later, Sciukas was in the right spot at the right time and it was 2-0. "It felt like luck," she would say later of her three-goal outburst.

"Right now, with this team, at that point, they were two goals down mentally, too," Purcell continued. "I believe they thought they couldn't come back against No. 1. You try and tell them those numbers are subjective, and to just go play. It becomes mental."

Purcell had kind words for goalkeeper Donna Boccuzzi, the only sophomore on an 18-player squad, who saved a penalty stroke for the second time in three games. Harris took the shot and Boccuzzi made a move to her right and got her stick up in time to make a solid deflection.

"She's only a sophomore with JV experience," Purcell said. "She's tentative and still thinking about not wanting to get in the way. That's why we play these games. She'll be fine when we need her to be fine." That means the county race and the season-ending playoffs.

The Eagles got good play from defenders Sarah Davis, a senior, and Meghan McDonald, a junior, plus senior midfielder Mary Christine, a four-year starter.

Pub Date: 9/17/97

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