Amy Ridgely made two wishes and got them both.
The senior goalkeeper registered eight saves, and teammates Tricia Teal and Rachel Lindsay notched a goal each to help propel visiting Westminster to a 2-0 victory over North Carroll last night.
With the win, the 8-2-1 Owls swept the two-game series against the Panthers and clinched the county title with a 4-0 county record. The victory also ended a string of frustrating losses to North Carroll.
"At the beginning of the game, I told Coach Shu [Bryan Shumaker] that I wanted a win and a shutout," Ridgely said. "All the seniors wanted this game because every year we fall short against these guys."
Teal, one of those seniors, said, "There was a lot of self-pride tonight because we wanted to beat them so bad. The past few times, we've lost to them."
Westminster started strong in the first half, forcing Panthers senior goalie Beth Reeb to make eight saves after 27 minutes had elapsed.
The Owls' pressure paid off with 11: 30 left. Awarded a free kick along the left sideline about 35 yards away from the net, senior midfielder Mandy Komar placed a kick over the North Carroll defense to Teal, who simply headed the ball into the right corner to give Westminster a 1-0 lead.
Seemingly awakened by the defensive lapse, the Panthers responded by attacking the Owls' offensive zone. But junior midfielder Erin Lamotte's kick with nine minutes left sailed wide right, and Ridgely made two saves to preserve the 1-0 lead.
Both teams opened the second half trading shots, but Komar struck again for Westminster with 15: 34 left in the game.
Komar dribbled the ball down the slot until she was about 15 yards away from the net and blasted a right-footed kick to the right corner. Reeb made a save by diving right and blocking the ball to the side. But the rebound went to Lindsay at the right post, and she calmly deposited the ball in the open net for a 2-0 lead.
Lindsay said whenever a play begins to develop, she usually runs to the far side.
"There's a lot of space over there and this time, it paid off," Lindsay said. "Mandy played a great ball."
Shumaker said the key to the win was a strong transition defense that filled the gaps in front of Ridgely.
"We made a little adjustment A lot of the goals we have given up have been in transition," Shumaker said. "We've worked on midfield support all season."
North Carroll coach Jim MacDonald praised his squad's effort, but he expressed disappointment in its ability to score.
"I thought we played pretty well except for converting offensive opportunities to goals," said MacDonald, whose team dropped to 2-2 in the county and 5-5-1 overall.