Inspired Wright wins first crown

Mustangs stop Whitman, 1-0, for ill coach

Girls soccer

High Schools

November 19, 2005|By GLENN GRAHAM | GLENN GRAHAM,SUN REPORTER

With heavy hearts, an unflappable defense and the program's biggest goal ever, the C. Milton Wright girls soccer team won its first Class 4A state title last night at UMBC.

The No. 3 Mustangs got a goal from sophomore Lyndsie Ludwig in the 58th minute and - before and after - stood their ground defensively against defending champ and highly skilled Walt Whitman for a 1-0 win.

The team played the game without the guidance of its head coach, Paul Austin, who suffered a mild stroke on Monday. Austin, who turned over last night's coaching duties to assistants Len Nicewonger and Brent Ritz, came to UMBC for the final part of the second half and said he expects to be fine.

The Mustangs (15-2) stayed with the same plan that got them there: sturdy defense and opportunistic offense.

Senior goalie Katie Kolb made seven saves and got a tireless performance from fellow senior back Erin Rawley and the rest of the Mustangs' defense.

`That was one of the hardest games I've ever seen us play and I thought we did really well," said Kolb, a four-year starter. "We were very inspired thinking about [Coach Austin]. Every time we would cheer, we cheered for Coach and we figured we needed to do this for him. That's what we came out here for, to win for him and ourselves."

A goal was needed, and the way the Vikings (12-4) had C. Milton Wright backed up in its own end in the first half, it looked as if it would be a difficult feat for the Mustangs. Ludwig found a way, running onto a through ball from junior Kelly Scheler and scoring from 20 yards with Whitman keeper Nonie Hanlon caught off her line.

"Earlier, I was getting a little frustrated, but the coaches said to check back to the ball or run to open space and that's what I did," Ludwig said. "I just saw the opening and I don't know - I can't really remember it - except just hitting it in."

The Mustangs' defense took it from there.

"I think our whole motto this year was to just grit it out and survive," said Rawley. "Once we scored the goal, it was just about staying strong and gutting it out. It didn't have to be pretty, we just had to get the job done and we did. This is amazing, awesome. It's the first time this has happened at our school so we gained some respect."

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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