North Carroll field hockey coach Denean Koontz goes into every game a bit nervous.
With All-Metro senior goalie Becky Bosley out of the lineup with the flu yesterday, there was maybe a little more concern than usual.
The No. 6 Panthers got a great all-around effort to come away with a 5-0 win over county rival South Carroll in Winfield.
Junior Jill Pajak, normally a defender, filled in for Bosley and didn't have to make a save all day.
The Panthers (3-0) constantly beat the Cavaliers (2-1) to the ball in wet conditions and continued to get scoring in the first half, taking control from the start and building a 3-0 lead by the half.
"It was a good win, a complete team effort. Everyone played, and everyone played well," Koontz said. "In these conditions, you can't wait for the ball to come to you. You have to go to the ball. We stressed that before the game, and everyone did a good job today."
The Panthers got balanced scoring with goals from four different players, including two from junior Maureen McGuire. There were good scoring chances in most of the 13 penalty corners they earned, and that's how they got on the board first with Kristen Dowlin scoring off an assist from Heather Lynch 4: 20 into the game.
Backs Diana Vaughan, Mindy Shackelford and Bethany Schultz continually stepped up at midfield to keep the pressure on at the South Carroll end. Ericka Fulton made it 2-0 with a goal in front and McGuire got the first of her two goals late in the first half to give the Panthers a lead even Koontz could feel comfortable with.
The Panthers have not yielded a goal in three games.
"We're getting a lot of chances in the circle and are doing a good job of finishing. With that, we're gaining more and more confidence," Koontz said. "We're just taking it one game at a time."
South Carroll coach Stacy Stem was impressed with what she saw from North Carroll.
"They filled the holes, and if you beat one of them, there was always another one behind her," she said. "The first 15 minutes, even though we were down 2-0, I felt we played well and then we played sloppy after getting down."
Ahna Hentz opened the second half scoring to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead before McGuire scored for the second time late in the game.
Pub Date: 9/18/96