Westminster ties with : 20 left, then captures region in shootout Owls oust Chesapeake, face Whitman on Monday

Field hockey

October 31, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Westminster practices pressure situations, putting the clock at seven seconds and trying to score. In recent days, the team has worked on penalty strokes in a shootout situation.

This devotion to detail paid dividends last night when the undefeated, No. 1-ranked Owls, on the verge of what would have been a shocking defeat, scored with 20 seconds left in regulation to tie visiting, 12th-ranked Chesapeake (11-5), 1-1, in the Class 4A South regional championship.

The two subsequent 10-minute overtimes were scoreless, and in the ensuing shootout, in which the teams alternated shots in five-player sets, Westminster scored on its first two chances and won when Chesapeake was scoreless with only one shooter left.

Westminster (15-0), the defending Class 4A state champion, will play Walt Whitman, a 2-1 victor over Wootten, in one semifinal at 2: 45 p.m. Wednesday at Goucher College. The other semifinal will match Churchill and Severna Park.

"Mental toughness," Westminster coach Brenda Baker called it. "However, we usually don't wait until the last minute."

In the shootout, Chesapeake's Sarah Wyant started against Westminster goalkeeper Emily White, who stopped the shot with her hands. Carli Harris netted the first Owls' shot, and after White deflected Pam Hemmings' bid, Lisa Duke made it 2-0.

Then, in quick succession, White made a diving deflection on Emily Ison; Cougars' goalkeeper Rana Schreiber thwarted Cindy Reese; and Chrissy Franklin's attempt was right at White, and she stopped the ball with her pads.

None of this would have happened but for Lindsay Iadevaia, who, with the clock on the field, took Jessica Ray's hit and banged the ball past Schreiber, who was screened by a melee of players.

It sent the Westminster players leaping and screaming, and left their Chesapeake counterparts, who had protected a 1-0 lead for 55 of the 60 minutes, dazed, as if all the air had gone out of their victory balloon.

Chesapeake had the better scoring chances in overtime, but White made a solid kick save when one-on-one against Colleen Plitt, and later an Owls defender drove a ball out of the goal mouth.

"In a shootout, you have to walk out feeling very confident and pick a side to shoot at," Duke said. "The more confident you look, the more intimidated the goalie."

White said, "In strokes, you block out everything, just keep a cool head. It comes down to reaction or guess. When the ball is hit slowly, you can go after it; fast, and you have no time to think."

Pub Date: 10/31/97

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