Girls Soccer: Winters Mill remains unbeaten after 2 OT victory over Westminster

Anna Diffendal got Winters Mill (3-0, 1-0 county) off to a strong start, scoring off a feed from Fleet about six minutes into the game.

Abbey Fleet crossed it over and Abby Howard finished it.

Winters Mill was tied with Westminster at the end of regulation on Wednesday at Ruby Field. One overtime passed with no score, but the teammates would put an end to that.


Their connection sparked a massive team celebration and a 3-2 victory for the Falcons — their third straight with the double OT win.

"It feels great, I'm just really glad I get to be a part of this team," Howard said. "I was just in the right place at the right time and I don't even know who it was but someone served a great ball across the field and I was lucky enough to be there."

Anna Diffendal got Winters Mill (3-0, 1-0 county) off to a strong start, scoring off a feed from Fleet about six minutes into the game. The junior midfielder collided with Westminster goalie Sydney Popielski as her ball found the back of the net. Diffendal needed assistance off the field and did not return.

A turnover from the Falcons almost resulted in a Westminster goal with 28 minutes to go, but the shot was kicked wide left. Back-and-forth shots were exchanged between both teams, but with 10:35 left in the first half Owls junior defender Nicole Roberts shot a feed deep in Winters Mill territory. Junior forward Taylor Whitmer responded by heading the ball just over the head of Falcons goalie Kaila Brown to get the Owls on the board.

At halftime, the teams were tied. Winters Mill coach Denny Snyder told his team, then, that the game was a character builder. When Diffendal went down early, it opened chances for other players to play in different roles.

"For me, I'm excited for the win," Snyder said. "I feel like we're taking steps in the right direction, but we have to get better. It's about taking steps and getting better each game. Tonight we had people playing different positions and I think in the long run, it's really going to help us. I feel really good about this team, the girls are battlers.

"Abby found herself there, that should give her all the confidence in the world. She makes brilliant runs and this time she was rewarded for it. It was Abbey's first goal tonight, Howard's first — we need the midfielders to contribute for those things. No matter how you look at it, it's a great high school matchup."

Brown, who finished with 10 saves, was consistently tested. Westminster was awarded a penalty shot with 16:45 to go and Whitmer fired it far right out of Brown's reach for her second goal.

For a while, it seemed that Westminster would come away victorious, but Fleet netted her first goal of the season when she finished a free kick that was shot by senior defender Shannon Snyder with 6:25 to go to tie the game 2-2. With no score in the closing minutes, regulation ended and the teams huddled in preparation for overtime.

The Owls (2-3, 0-1) came off a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory at Tuscarora on Tuesday. Popielski finished with five saves.

"You got to score," Westminster coach Todd Muschik said. "We let simple things happen that we can't control, like balls bouncing on throw-ins to their goalie, that free kick that bounces right to their goalie. Those shouldn't happen and they're things we're going to fix."

Goals: WM-Anna Diffendal, Abbey Fleet, Abby Howard. W-Taylor Whitmer 2.

Assists: WM-Fleet, Hailey Bozzell. W-Nicole Roberts.

Saves: WM-Kaila Brown 10. W-10 (Sydney Popielski 5, Kristen Janeczek 5).


Halftime: Tied, 1-1.

JV result: Westminster, 1-0.