N. Carroll tips Owls for county title Westminster comeback barely falls short, 3-2

Field hockey

October 21, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Unbeaten North Carroll built a three-goal lead, then had to hold on in the final eight minutes as host Westminster charged back into contention before losing, 3-2, last night.

The victory gave No. 4-ranked North Carroll (11-0) its first victory over Westminster (8-5) since 1993 and enabled the Panthers to clinch their first Carroll County title since 1994.

North Carroll is 6-0 county, 7-0 in the Central Maryland XTC Conference; Westminster is 3-2, 6-1. The two teams will close their regular seasons tomorrow (4 p.m.) at North Carroll in a makeup of an earlier rainout.

"We've always had good competitive games with North Carroll," Westminster coach Brenda Baker said. "It says a lot for both programs."

Senior forwards Jessica Bradford and Katie Mullinix got the goals for the winners. Bradford connected in the first half; Mullinix with 23 minutes left, and Bradford again with 11 minutes left.

At the time, the visitors appeared to be in control, but as Baker pointed out, "This isn't a team that quits."

Actually, the Owls had started strongly and were able to carry the ball to the circle. "Then we let down, first on offense, then on defense," Baker said

Westminster senior forward Katie Sciukas took care of the shutout with 8: 40 to go, and four minutes later sophomore Nikki Waltz converted a corner hit by Carrie Reeve, banging the ball on a line into the back of the cage.

"We knew it would be tough to score on them because they have such a good keeper [Emily White]," said North Carroll coach Denean Koontz. "I told my team they had to play for 60 minutes."

The Panthers did, too, led by experienced seniors Bradford and Mullinix up front, Meredith Gill and Erin German in the middle and Katie Holmes in front of junior keeper Devan Bosley, who was credited with one save.

"We were confident coming in," Gill reported, "but we knew we had to play as a team and stop their fast breaks. Playing as a team is something we have done well all year. We're together more than last year.

Of North Carroll, Reeve, a defender for the home team, said, "They're aggressive, cut to the ball well, and have the skills. They're good athletes."

It was an especially tough night for White, Westminster's senior goalkeeper and a highly decorated player whose credentials include a second team All-Metro spot last year. The three goals were the most she has allowed in a game for the last two years, and raised her season total to 14.

Pub Date: 10/21/98

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