Western comes at Southern from all sides, wins, 3-0

Outshooting Bulldogs 14-3, Doves cruise after overcoming slow takeoff

Girls soccer HIGH SCHOOL

September 11, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Memories of last year's game against Southern-Baltimore resurfaced for Western's girls soccer team during the first half of yesterday's match.

"Last year, they were beating us with 10 minutes left," said Western coach Sue Winemiller, whose team pulled out a last-minute victory a year ago. "We only have four players back, so we have to be ready for everybody."

Host Western got off to a slow start against the stubborn Bulldogs, but Melinda McLaughlin's goal in the 34th minute sparked the Doves to a 3-0 victory in a Baltimore City league contest.

The Doves (1-1, 1-0 league) added goals from Jen Myrick and Brooke Waddell in the first 22 minutes of the second half. They ended up outshooting Southern (0-1) by a 14-3 margin.

Coach Bob Keaton's Bulldogs, the most improved team in the city last season, kept the pressure on the Doves early.

Western could not convert despite four corner kicks in the initial 17 minutes. Star Tazwell also narrowly missed a well-timed shot that appeared headed for the low left corner in the 15th minute.

The Bulldogs' defensive effort forced the Doves to take some low-percentage shots, and first-time goalie Allison Hlafka made six of her 10 saves in the half. She made several athletic nabs, including two on balls that deflected off her teammates.

"We didn't expect them to come out as strong as they did," said McLaughlin, a second-team All-Baltimore City/County selection last season. "I think individually our skill level is the best in the city, but every single one of them - they were aggressive."

McLaughlin finally cracked the Bulldogs defense, turning on a pass into the middle from Tabitha Canap and nailing it from about 10 yards out.

"We were just trying to get off as many shots as possible," said McLaughlin, "and sometimes the most unexpected ones are when you turn from facing the opposite direction. The goalie was surprised at the fact that I turned, and that's the only reason it went in."

Losing their season opener was only mildly disheartening for the Bulldogs, who were often just a step too slow to get off a good shot.

"They're a great team," said Bulldogs forward Joi White, "and to stay with them like we did, it was excellent. I'm really proud of us for doing that. Each year, we keep getting better. We just learn from our mistakes."

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