The Westminster field hockey team looked at offense as a strength heading into this season. With just three goals in their first four games, however, the Owls had to be questioning their ability to score entering last night's Central Maryland Conference game against Thomas Johnson.
Against the overmatched Patriots, it didn't take long for the Carroll County power to finally find all the answers.
Forward Laura Yingling scored twice and added two assists, as the Owls broke loose for five goals in the second half on the way to a 6-0 romp over the visiting Frederick County team.
After failing to score in each of their first two games -- a loss to Catonsville and a draw with Francis Scott Key -- and scoring just once Friday against Dulaney, Westminster (3-1-1) appeared to find the answer in the final 30 minutes of what had been a tight game.
"I think we were more aggressive and started taking more shots," said Yingling. "They weren't coming up on [defender] Lisa Cavanaugh, so she was just taking [the ball] up the whole field and shooting. Then we could get our second shots."
The Owls have gone four games without a loss, including three straight wins.
Players say the lack of scoring prior to last night had somewhat overshadowed their true ability.
"Pretty much, I feel, we've been dominating our games," said Yingling. "Tonight we just put in the goals."
The first came just 2 minutes into the game, when following a penalty corner, a hard shot by Lauren Poe deflected off Patriots goalie Katie Brundage to the waiting stick of Lauren Magee, who easily put it in to make it 1-0.
But despite several good chances, including a shot by Lydia Eppig midway through the half that squirted through the legs of Brundage only to be kicked away by a defender, the score stayed that way until early in the second half.
That's when the Owls shifted their offense into high gear, putting on a display of offense for much of the final 30 minutes.
First, Yingling scored from close range off an assist from Lisa Cavanaugh with 27: 10 left. Then, 4 minutes later, Yingling again scored, this time unassisted, to make it 3-0.
From there, the rout was on, as Poe, Danielle Wilmsen and Lindsay Bream each scored in the final 19 minutes against a vastly overmatched Thomas Johnson defense.
All told, Westminster outshot the Patriots (1-3-3), 15-1.
"I got everybody in, and I think everybody held their own," said Westminster coach Brenda Baker, who gained her 257th career victory.
Pub Date: 9/28/99