Unranked N. Carroll ties up No. 6 Westminster

Girls soccer

September 26, 2001|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

North Carroll entered last night's Carroll County girls soccer showdown with No. 6 Westminster looking to prove it could fight the good fight against an area power.

Call it a split decision.

The unranked Panthers pushed the visiting Owls to the brink, scoring in the game's early moments and holding on for a 1-1 tie to hand Westminster its first blemish of the season.

"We wanted to play a good game, and I thought we did," said North Carroll coach Jim MacDonald. "We had some real nice opportunities, but we just couldn't quite finish. If we play the way we did tonight, I think we'll be competitive with any team we see the rest of the season."

North Carroll (2-2-2 overall, 0-0-2 in the county), which earlier this month topped then-No. 7 Glenelg, out-shot Westminster 19-15. All night long, the Panthers used their edge in speed up front to pressure the Owls' goal, yet only managed to put a single shot past goalkeeper Carrie Serio.

"They just went to every 50-50 ball really hard," said Westminster midfielder Tirza Ridgely. "They didn't back off. They wanted it, and you could tell."

North Carroll took the lead just 3:30 into the game when Katie Riley - the county's top sprinter during indoor track season - took a pass just beyond midfield, sped past a defender and fired a hard shot to the right of Serio to make it 1-0.

After being kept on their heels for the first 10 minutes, Westminster (4-0-1, 0-0-1) was able to get off sporadic shots during the rest of the first half, failing to cash in on its best opportunity when, following a well-placed throw-in by Angel Aversa, Nancy Hayes shot high from 10 yards out.

The two teams then traded several shots before Westminster tied the game 10:45 into the second half. Following Casey Brengle's free kick, Ridgely came up with the ball in front and fired a strike into the back of the net.

"She served it about 12 yards out," said Ridgely. "The goalie came out, and I just went for it."

Westminster out-shot North Carroll 7-2 in overtime, but couldn't capitalize. Though it wasn't a loss, Owls coach Bryan Shumaker said the game will act as a lesson of sorts for his team.

"We were a little intimidated by their speed, and I think we probably let that get to us mentally," said Shumaker. "That, and the fact that they scored so quickly probably changed our thought process, and caused us to play behind a little bit."

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