For three-quarters of the game against South Carroll, Westminster played like an inexperienced team. The Owls displayed little poise and seemed anxious on the attack.
Then something unexpected happened -- Westminster scored a goal.
Ending a season-opening 137-minute scoring drought, the Owls came back from a two-goal deficit to complete a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over host South Carroll last night. Wil Woolford scored the game-winner on a breakaway with four minutes remaining in overtime.
"It tickles me sick that we didn't stop out there," said coach Chuck Beaver, who carries seven juniors and five sophomores on his 17-player Westminster roster. "All I said was that we needed that first goal to get started. I was worried because we were losing some wind out of our sails being down all that time, but we picked it up and kept on going."
Trailing 2-0, the Owls received their first break when South Carroll goalkeeper Michael Amoss pushed off in a collision with an Owls player to give Westminster a penalty kick.
Trent Rieghtler banged the penalty kick into the right corner with 23: 06 left in the game to record the Owls' first goal of the season. Westminster (1-2), which scored three goals in the final 29 minutes last night, had been shut out twice to begin the season.
The Owls rallied behind that score, gaining composure. They tied the game at 2 with three minutes left in the game when Tim Betz tagged a low rolling shot past the outstretched Amoss.
South Carroll never threatened in overtime as Westminster used its emotional edge to pound the ball on its offensive end. After two failed one-on-one opportunities in overtime, the Owls finally converted behind Woolford.
Taking a lead pass from Betz, Woolford dribbled the ball deep into the offensive end, waited for Amoss to commit to one side and fired the ball into the left side of the goal to give the Owls the victory.
"This is a big confidence-builder because we played hard the first two games but it didn't show on the scoreboard," Woolford said. "We finally proved we could score."
It was a bitter defeat for the Cavaliers (0-1), who never trailed until the Owls scored the game-winner. South Carroll used a patient, ball-control offense to go ahead 2-0 on a goal by Mark Ensor early in the second half.
"I think we lost a little something on that penalty kick," South Carroll coach Charlie Fazenbaker said. "We were a little shaken after that."
Pub Date: 9/11/96