Towns directs traffic for rebounding Owls Boys soccer: Westminster junior play-maker leads quietly on team of many seniors and finds he plays better when he's a bit nervous.

October 15, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

David Towns remembers wanting to play for a recreation soccer team his father coached, but league officials would not permit it. Towns was 4 years old at the time, tagging along after an older brother and an older sister.

Over the years, his development has been steady, and now, as a Westminster junior, he is in his second season as a starter in the midfield.

"It's up to me to distribute the ball, because it goes through me and to the outside. I know the coach wants me to take charge, take control of the situation," said Towns, a slender 6-footer.

With more than half his team seniors, Towns said he didn't feel much pressure coming into this season, because he had played with them before. At the same time, however, "I did because of the expectations we had."

Westminster (3-6) opened with a 2-1 win over South Carroll but in its next five games scored as many as two goals only once. All five matches were losses, three of them by one goal.

"I thought we handled that adversity pretty well," Towns said, explaining that the team didn't give up many goals; it just wasn't finishing its offensive chances. The breakthrough came with two goals in a loss to Glenelg, and the Owls did everything but score in a 1-0 loss to Linganore.

"In that stretch, coach made one switch that I think has benefited everybody," he said, referring to coach Mick Ferraro's decision to push senior Tony Legge from the midfield to a forward spot and drop back sophomore John Hajewski. Both are playing well, and Legge has most of the Owls' assists.

Westminster halted its slide with a 3-2 win over Urbana, then stunned Liberty, 2-1, earlier this week. The Owls, whose three wins have bettered last year's 2-8-2 record, have regular-season games left with South Carroll tomorrow night and North Carroll on Oct. 27.

Towns played his freshman year and three games of his sophomore year on the JV team before being brought up to the varsity.

"I moved him up initially because of his skill level, and I thought he had the maturity to handle it," Ferraro said. "Also, I thought he needed to play with better players. This season, we look for him to control the midfield, work the transition game, and be ready for counter-attacks.

"He's not a verbal leader, but he plays tough and with confidence."

Towns recalled being brought up last year and said, "I was a nervous wreck, because coach told me I was starting, but the way things have gone, I usually play well when I'm nervous."

Pub Date: 10/15/98

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