Westminster misses chance to gain final

Whitman's shootout tally decides scoreless battle

Field hockey semifinals

November 11, 1999|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Westminster dominated nearly every facet of its Class 4A state semifinal in field hockey yesterday -- except the final score.

That favored Bethesda's Walt Whitman, which knocked out the 12th-ranked Owls by the scantest margin -- senior midfielder Emily Mitchard's penalty stroke in a shootout after 120 minutes of scoreless play at Goucher College.

Mitchard's tally, the only one by either side during the tiebreaker, put Whitman (14-4) into Saturday's state final, also at Goucher in Towson, against Severna Park.

Westminster, which finished its season with an 11-3-1 record, outshot Whitman 9-5 and had a 20-11 advantage in penalty corners but whiffed on numerous scoring opportunities.

"We wanted to put it away in regulation time," said Owls junior goalie Emily Chamelin, who recorded five saves. "But we couldn't find the goal."

Said sophomore attack Lydia Eppig: "It's frustrating, but it's not anyone's fault."

Both teams threatened to score in the 60 minutes of regulation. Early in the first half, Vikings junior midfielder Kate Gannon sent a shot through a maze of legs and sticks, but Chamelin made a right-pad save.

Westminster's best chance came early in the second half, when senior midfielder Audrey Pritts had an open shot but topped the ball and Vikings sophomore goalie Katie Kaplan kicked away the weak grounder.

Both squads appeared drained in two 10-minute overtime periods.

Westminster junior defender Nikki Waltz opened the period by banging a shot off the left post. After Vikings junior attack Ayres Heller's shot sailed wide-right, Owls junior attack Laura Yingling bounced a shot off the right post.

Mitchard broke the scoreless tie by flicking a shot past Chamelin's outstretched stick. Kaplan gloved Westminster senior defender Lauren Reese's attempt, and Whitman senior defender Suzanna Fry flubbed her try.

After Kaplan made a kick save on a stroke by senior defender Lisa Cavanaugh, Gannon appeared to score the game-winner with a rising shot to the top left corner. But her goal was waved off because of a foot violation.

Kaplan clinched the victory by gloving senior attack Lauren Poe's attempt for Westminster.

Owls coach Brenda Baker could only reflect on what might have happened if shots by Waltz and Yingling had bounced off the posts and into the cage.

"We were shooting at a point where we wanted to shoot," she said. "We were taking smart, good shots, and you would like to think one would have glanced in. Instead, they glanced out."

For coach Mary Pat Veihmeyer's Vikings, the trip to the state finals is the Montgomery County school's first since 1995, when Severna Park defeated it, 1-0, for the Falcons' fourth consecutive state title.

"I think we're going to go try and get them," Veihmeyer said of Severna Park. "If my kids decide they can do it, they can do it."

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