Westminster knocks off No. 8 Mount Hebron

Owls control 2nd half

Hayes scores winner

Girls soccer

September 14, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

No one denied that their hearts may have been somewhere else. But for two hours yesterday, Westminster and Mount Hebron tried to focus their minds on soccer.

"I think everyone realizes how devastating this week has been for so many people," said Owls midfielder Tirza Ridgely, who scored a goal to lead No. 14 Westminster past No. 8 Mount Hebron, 2-1. "We talked about things a lot yesterday at practice, but today we tried to focus on game day. Obviously, everything that happened is still right there on our minds."

Both teams, and the small crowd gathered at Mount Hebron, observed a full minute of silence before the contest to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington Tuesday. And spirited, but rather sloppy, soccer followed.

Mount Hebron played well at the start, getting a nice goal in the 14th minute from junior midfielder Britt Faulkner to take a 1-0 lead. Fellow junior Lindsay Dutch set up the score by making a long run up the left side of the field before leading Faulkner with a crisp pass in front of the net.

The lead, however, didn't last long. Westminster, which has been the surprise of the young season, got through a shaky start in the first half, then regrouped to continually put pressure on Vikings goalie Kaitlin Porter in the second. Porter played an excellent game(12 saves), but couldn't make a play on a hard shot from Ridgely in front of net that tied the game at 1-1 in the 47th minute.

"I kind of cut the ball to the right," Ridgely said of her shot. "I just kind of found an opening."

The Owls controlled nearly all of the second half, getting the game-winner from Nancy Hayes off a long throw in from Angel Aversa in the 67th minute.

"They were just a bigger, faster team out there today," Porter said. "We were basically just kicking the ball around, and that's not usually how we play. We were just off."

In the end, however, the emotions of both the winners and losers were somewhat subdued. It was, as everyone understood, just a soccer game.

"Every one has emotions and feelings that you just can't express," said Westminster coach Bryan Shumaker. "I think we just tried to use this as our two-hour reprieve. Everyone has heavy hearts and a lot on their mind, but hopefully we used it as an opportunity get it off our minds for a few hours before we focus our attention back on the tragedy."

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