Limited by quick turnaround, Westminster turned away, 5-0

Owls' 2nd game in 2 days ends in loss to T. Johnson

Boys soccer

High Schools

October 01, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Just 24 hours after a lopsided win against county rival South Carroll, the Westminster boys soccer team last night learned what life is like on the other side.

Still fatigued from the night before, the punchless Owls fell behind early and never recovered, losing, 5-0, to Thomas Johnson.

"We didn't have any legs, and we really didn't have a lot of competitive fire, especially in the first 20 minutes," said Owls coach Fran McCullin, whose team was coming off a 4-0 victory over the Cavaliers. "Then, it went from bad to worse. When you're behind by that much with no adrenaline, you really start to feel it."

Westminster (3-2-1) was outshot 16-8, time and again getting beaten to loose balls. For the Owls, the performance was most uncharacteristic.

"You've got to [forget about it]," McCullin said. "We could have played them on a good night, and if they ran through balls the way they ran through them tonight, then we wouldn't beat them either."

It was the fourth straight win for Thomas Johnson (4-1-2) after the Patriots, who have averaged 10 wins a season over the past three years, got off to a 0-1-2 start.

"We had a target on us early in the season," said Thomas Johnson coach Mitch Rubin, whose team started this fall 0-1-2, including a tie against Century. "I think our last game is when we realized that if we play hard we can be as good as our previous teams."

In that game, the Patriots jumped ahead of Urbana, 3-0, in the first 15 minutes. This one had a similar look early after Brandon Bane scored just 1:36 into the game to give the Patriots a quick 1-0 lead.

Then, midway through the first half, the Owls gave up another goal when midfielder Rob Scherer got behind his defender and directed a soft shot inside the near post to make it 2-0.

Westminster's Ryan Moeller nearly put the Owls on the board late in the half, but his hard shot from 20 yards in front skipped inches wide to the right.

Unable to cut the lead, the Owls watched it grow when, on a throw-in 4:02 into the second half, Patriots back Rob Franciscovich sent a strong throw in front of the goal for midfielder Mike Langford to head in.

Midfielder John Freed and back Greg Seldon also scored for Thomas Johnson.

"There's not a five-goal difference between these two teams," Rubin said. "Tonight, things just went our way."

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