After slow start, Westminster boys make quick work of South Carroll

April 15, 2011|By Rich Scherr, Special to The Baltimore Sun

It took No. 14 Westminster more than 20 minutes of play Friday night to score a goal against Carroll County rival South Carroll.

Once the host Owls found their rhythm on offense, however, they proved difficult to stop.

After trailing early, Westminster scored eight of the next nine goals to take command en route to an 8-2 victory over the previously unbeaten Cavaliers.

"I told the guys to be patient — that we're an explosive offense," Westminster coach Steve DeFeo said. "We made some adjustments and it paid off for us."

Sophomore Ryan Drenner had two goals and three assists to lead the Owls (6-1 overall, 2-0 Carroll County), who have won six straight since falling to Linganore in the season opener. Westminster has outscored its past five opponents by a combined 72-12 since the beginning of April.

The Owls' defense also played a starring role. Led by senior goalie Eric Natale (12 saves), who stopped a handful of shots at point-blank range, the defense held South Carroll (5-1, 2-1) — which had scored 21 in a win over Manchester Valley on Thursday — to one goal over the final 42:14.

Both teams struggled to find the mark early.

After going the first 20:22 without a goal — and failing to get a shot while up two-men for a span of 44 seconds — Westminster took the lead with two goals in the span of 19 seconds late in the first half.

First, Drenner scored on a drive from behind the goal 3:37 before halftime. Then, after winning their first faceoff of the night, the Owls made it count when Luke Thompson (two goals) quickly scored off a feed from junior Dan Carder.

"I guess we just got a little momentum after that first goal," Drenner said. "We were just pushing it all game. This is a huge win."

Thompson extended the lead to 3-1 just 21 seconds into the third quarter, taking a feed from Drenner, putting a fake on goalie Taylor Schmitz and scoring into a wide-open net.

South Carroll senior Ben McCarty scored unassisted moments later to cut the lead to one, but that was as close as the Cavaliers would get, with Westminster then scoring five straight over the final 21:35 to put the game away.

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