There were no late-game heroics for the North Carroll girls soccer team last night at Westminster. The Owls' defense made sure of that.
Senior goalie Julie Backof recorded her fifth shutout as the Owls (5-5, 3-2 in the county) made Shannon Fisher's first-half goal stand to come away with a 2-0 win. Junior Mandy Hunt added an insurance goal in the last minute for the Owls.
"I don't think we really played our style until the last 20 minutes or so, but it's a big win for us considering how well we played against South Carroll and Liberty only to come up with losses," said Westminster coach Terry Molloy.
"I thought our defense really did a nice job for us with Becky Hunt at sweeper and Julie Backof in goal. It's also nice to know we can finish off teams [with the late goal]."
Soggy field conditions prevented the Owls from effectively using their short passing game, but both teams played well under the circumstances.
The Panthers (5-5, 3-2) were coming off a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Liberty in which they scored the tying goal with four minutes left and added the game-winner in overtime. They had no such luck this time around.
"I thought we did a decent job tonight, the difference was we couldn't put the ball in the net," said North Carroll coach Phil Myers.
"In the first 15 minutes we were right there offensively, but we didn't get the shots. It was 1-0 until the last minute. You can't ask for anything more but maybe a couple of goals."
Both teams had solid scoring opportunities in the first half, but Westminster was the only one to get anything on the board when Fisher tapped in a ball off of North Carroll keeper Teresa Mays.
Gena Magin took a short throw and got it right back and sent a cross from the right corner that Mays came out for. The ball got away from her to a waiting Fisher, who had an easy tap-in on the empty net.
"That was a lovely goal, the kind of stuff we work on and it's nice to see that," Malloy said. "It also came against a very good goalie in Teresa Mays."
North Carroll pressed in the final 10 minutes in an attempt to get the equalizer, but couldn't find the net. After two consecutive North Carroll corner kicks, Jen Baker sent a ball in front that Becky Hunt cleared off the line.