Defensive game bounces City's way

Elliott's rebound shot defeats Western, 1-0

Girls soccer

High Schools

September 20, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Defense reigned at yesterday's City-Western girls soccer match until Nora Elliott found herself in the right place in the 75th minute.

After Western goalie Heather Delair batted away Courtney Eley's shot from the right side, the carom bounced toward Elliott. The junior forward ran in from about 8 yards straight out of the goal mouth and nailed the only goal of the afternoon from close range.

"I was just so happy, because this is my first goal since like sixth grade. It was about time," Elliott said. "I was so happy we finally got the goal we needed and we didn't have to go into overtime."

The 1-0 victory gave the defending Baltimore City champion Knights (5-1, 3-0 league) sole possession of first place in the city league. The Doves fell to 4-2-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the city.

While savoring the victory, Elliott credited Eley for setting into motion the chain of events that led to the goal. Eley carried the ball down the right side of the field and closed in on Western keeper Delair, who tried to cut off the angle.

"It was one-on-one with me and the girl [Eley]," Delair said, "so I had to come out and try to block her. [The shot] ricocheted off me and over to the other girl. She followed up and kicked it in."

To that point, a scoreless tie seemed the likely outcome thanks to the defensive standoff led by the teams' respective sweepers, City's Tiffany Wright and Western's Krystle Wartman.

"Usually games are basically for the offense and we play up," said Wright. "[Yesterday], it was a defensive game and I love them. Even our offensive played a lot of defense."

The Knights had two prime scoring opportunities in the second half. Western's Melinda McLaughlin thwarted the first by clearing a loose ball off the goal line in the 66th minute. City's Danielle Serio then booted a penalty kick over the goal after a Doves handball in the 69th minute.

Delair finished with seven saves and City keeper Whitney James made six, including two key stops midway through the first half.

The Doves offense had its share of near misses, including the first two shots of the game that slammed off the goal posts. They outshot the Knights 6-3 in the first half. Both teams took nine second-half shots.

Western had a chance to tie in the 78th minute when speedy striker Star Tazwell got past Wright heading into the box. City back Carmen Brown caught Tazwell and kicked the ball over the endline. On two ensuing corner kicks, Wright blocked a pair of Doves shots.

The Doves, city champs before City, vowed to rebound from the loss, which comes on the heels of Monday's 2-2 tie with Poly.

"It's one game," Wartman said. "We face them again on our home field to our advantage. You can't be down after [losing] just one game."

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