North Carroll perseveres, knocks off Westminster

Slessinger's goal finishes Owls in 2nd OT, 14-13

Girls lacrosse

April 03, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In a game with all the drama of a heavyweight title bout, North Carroll and host Westminster spent the better part of regulation and two overtime periods last night trading jabs.

After each had put the other on the ropes, however, it was the Panthers' Mel Slessinger who finally delivered the knockout blow.

Slessinger's goal off a feed from Lauren Therit with 30 seconds left in the second overtime gave North Carroll - which had led by four in regulation before rallying from a two-goal deficit in the first overtime - a hard-earned 14-13 win in a battle of Carroll County girls lacrosse contenders.

"We came right out into the overtime, scored two quick goals and got the momentum. but it's a game of swings," Westminster coach Suzanne Peters said. "Unfortunately, the momentum went in their favor in the end."

Led by Kara Meekins' four goals, the Panthers (2-0 overall, 2-0 county) broke open a tie game - in which neither team had scored back-to-back goals - with consecutive goals by Megan Crisler, Jayme Tunney, Katy Winemiller and Therit to take a seemingly commanding 10-6 lead with 12:58 left in regulation.

For the remainder of the second half, however, it was Westminster (0-1, 0-1) - led by Shannon Finch's four goals and three each from Angel Aversa and Jessica Shelton - that played the role of aggressor, winning draws, beating defenders and sending the game into overtime on Finch's goal that made it 11-11 with under two minutes left.

"We let them back in the game," North Carroll coach Amy Eggers said. "We were taking a bad shot, we were making a bad pass, we weren't marking up."

The Owls then continued their late domination in overtime, getting consecutive goals by Shelton to take a 13-11 lead by midway through the three-minute period. North Carroll, however, answered with scores by Meekins and Therit to force a second overtime period.

There, Slessinger soon ended the drama.

"I was running down the middle all by myself and Lauren Therit saw me," Slessinger said. "She made a good pass and I was wide open, and I just hit the corner."

For the Owls, who finished 5-9 last season, there was an especially bright silver lining, despite the tough season-opening loss.

"The way we played together as a team, passing and just moving the ball together ... even though it's a loss, it's not a loss," Peters said. "It's something that really makes you look forward to the rest of the season."

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