Broadneck is no match as Westminster rolls, 3-1

Owls win sixth straight, move to regional semis

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 31, 2001|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Early in the season, Westminster senior midfielder Tirza Ridgely said she believed the Owls had as much talent as their 1999 Class 4A state girls soccer championship team. Ridgely, who started as a sophomore on that team, said Westminster might perhaps only lack the physicality it possessed that year.

Last night, the physical, 11th-ranked Owls looked in championship form, as they defeated No. 12 Broadneck, 3-1, in a 4A East Region quarterfinal in Annapolis.

Westminster (12-3-1), which won its sixth straight, will face No. 7 Arundel (13-3) in the regional semifinals Friday in Gambrills. The Wildcats defeated Chesapeake in another 4A East quarterfinal, 5-0, last night. The starting time of that semifinal has not been determined.

"I think we're doing a lot better as far as it goes physically," said Ridgely, who scored her team-leading ninth and 10th goals to give the Owls a 2-0 halftime lead. "I think it shows. ... Tonight was a huge hurdle, but it's only going to get tougher. It's wonderful, but we have to move on and focus on the next game now."

Ridgely played an outstanding game, controlling the midfield and scoring twice in a 12-minute span in the first half. In the 20th minute, she gathered a loose ball at the top of the penalty box and rifled a shot into the lower right corner of the net. In the 32nd minute, Ridgely took a failed clear and drilled an almost identical shot from the top left corner of the box into the same spot.

"Tirza just continues to amaze me," said Westminster coach Bryan Shumaker, whose team has outscored its opposition 22-2 in its past six games. "She's just a wonderful talent, she's unselfish and she does all the things that need to be done out there. You could see on those two goals, all she needs is a crack. She has a very quick shot, and she strikes a solid ball."

On the other end, Westminster senior goalkeeper Carrie Serio had a strong outing, and only a goal in the 80th minute by Broadneck senior midfielder Kelli Southard prevented her eighth shutout of the season. Serio finished with nine saves and smothered several balls that beat the Westminster defense.

"Carrie was off her line tonight when she needed to be, she made good reads and she made decisive reads," Shumaker said. "She's growing in confidence. Early in the year, it was something she wasn't sure of, and it shows how hard of a worker she is."

Trailing by two goals in the final 20 minutes, Broadneck (9-5-1) brought all its defenders into the attack whenever it had a deep throw-in or free kick. But that strategy resulted in a 3-0 Westminster lead when senior Sharon Bowen scored her ninth goal of the season on a counterattack breakaway.

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