Standout midfielder Shannon Watt's transfer to Century last year led to some tension when she faced her former school

No easy transition

Field hockey

Varsity

September 17, 2006|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN REPORTER

It hasn't been easy being Shannon Watt, the Century field hockey standout, during the past school year.

Especially when it came time for Watt, now a senior center midfielder, to come face-to-face with her old teammates at North Carroll last fall for the first time after she had moved from that district to the Century area before her junior year.

Century coach Gale Taylor said a "misunderstanding among some of the North Carroll people" regarding Watt's transfer created additional tension to the game.

"The funny thing about that game was it came down to a penalty stroke, Shannon took it, made it, and we won, 1-0, in overtime," Taylor said.

When asked about the North Carroll situation, Watt chose to focus on Century's celebration after her game-winning goal against the Panthers gave the Knights a share of the Carroll County championship with North Carroll and Winters Mill.

"We all kind of went in a circle and cheered," Watt said. "It was a big win for us. There were a lot of people there. All three of us ended up losing one game.

"When I went up there [to take the shot], I really wasn't nervous. I just wanted to get it over with."

Watt scored eight goals and had 13 assists last season as a left midfielder and has been moved to center midfield this fall to take advantage of her superior stickwork and passing skills.

Asked about the position move, Watt said, "It's exciting. I guess my job will be to keep the ball moving and get the ball up to the forwards."

Watt said her strengths are "good field vision and anticipation," which she said especially helps on defense, where she is adept at reading plays.

"I love going from defense to offense," she said. "Everybody should be able to play strong defense because it's just a matter of working hard."

Taylor said she hasn't been surprised by Watt's emergence as one of the top players in the county.

"She started doing clinics and camps with me in the fifth grade and the thing that impressed me most was her love for the game as a player," Taylor said. "Most kids her age at that time wanted to play soccer and stuff like that when they were introduced to the game of field hockey. Shannon was different. She loved field hockey."

Taylor said that the most amazing part of Watt's game is her exquisite stickwork, which is honed by playing club ball "pretty much year round."

"She runs track and works out," Taylor said. "But this is pretty much the only sport she plays. She has some pretty impressive schools looking at her, like Temple."

Come November, Watt will be making a second straight trip to play in a field hockey festival in California to showcase her talent before college coaches and scouts.

Taylor said players are chosen for the festival based on their high school and club play, and those invited throughout the nation are considered elite club team members.

Meanwhile, Watt sees her Century team making another run for a county championship and possibly advancing further "because we played pickup games all summer and have become a very close team."

bfree7066@hotmail.com

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