No. 14 Glenelg gets nudged by No. 7 Westminste, 4-2

Owls' front line enjoys edge on corner kicks

Girls soccer

September 21, 2001|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The seventh-ranked Westminster girls soccer team has stood tall during the early season, though perhaps never quite as much as in yesterday's game against No. 14 Glenelg.

With their sizable front line facing noticeably smaller defenders, the host Owls capitalized twice on well-placed corner kicks in a 4-2 win.

"They were a quick, aggressive team, but I think we had an advantage over them in pure height," said Westminster coach Bryan Shumaker. "We have a couple players who are fairly tall and pretty good ball-winners in the air. We got a few touches there that made a couple things happen in the box."

The Owls (4-0) outshot Glenelg, 16-8, and got a pair of goals from junior midfielder Megan Mullins.

For the Gladiators (1-3), who allowed two goals off corners in a 3-1 loss to North Carroll Saturday, the problem was a familiar one.

"I thought we played right with them," said Glenelg coach Mike Williams. "The thing that hurt us again today was corners. We're not giving up much other than set pieces off corners. Part of our problem is that we're short [physically] in the back."

The Gladiators, already one of Howard County's youngest teams with just one senior starter, were further hampered by the loss of standout midfielder Chrissy Starcher, expected to be out until Monday with a sprained ankle.

The combination helped give Westminster carte blanche in front of the net.

The game was a back-and-forth battle for much of the way, with Mullins' goal off a cross-field feed by Tirza Ridgely putting the Owls up 1-0 near halftime before Brandy McReynolds scored off a rebound 3:21 into the second half to tie the game.

After Westminster again took the lead on Sharon Bowen's follow-up of a corner kick, Glenelg again pulled even on Lyndsay Lewis' goal with 28:35 to play.

The Owls then took the lead for good with 21 minutes left when, after Ridgely's corner, Mullins scored following a flurry in front of the net. They then sealed the win less than 2 minutes later when Angel Aversa was taken down deep in Glenelg's end, and she scored on a penalty shot to make it 4-2.

Glenelg (1-3) has lost three straight games, all to ranked teams.

After losing in blowout fashion to the Gladiators a year ago, Westminster players said they came better prepared for the rematch.

"I knew that they beat us last year by a lot, so in the beginning we came out really hard," said Mullins. "I think that game gave us a heads up."

At 4-0, Westminster looks like it will be a top challenger this season in the always-tough Central Maryland Conference. Shumaker said he's hoping playing teams such as Glenelg will pay dividends.

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