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'Cats force Knights to settle for tie

October 04, 2002|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - No. 2 Middletown dominated No. 5 Williamsport in every statistic Thursday night. Every statistic, that is, except the final score.

The Wildcats took advantage of their one shot - a penalty shot converted by Meggan McGill in the 16th minute - while the Knights converted on only one of their 32 shots in a 1-1 tie that keeps the race for first place in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League deadlocked.

"We got outplayed, but we kept our composure," Williamsport coach John Weimer said of his Wildcats, which tied Middletown for the first time in school history. Williamsport has never defeated the Knights.

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Right from the start, it appeared the Wildcats' losing streak against Middletown would continue. The Knights' passing and organization kept Williamsport pinned in its own end virtually the entire game.

But on the Wildcat's one surge upfield, Middletown got called for a mild shove right at the edge of the penalty box. The referee awarded a penalty shot to Williamsport (6-1-1, 4-0-1), and McGill put it to the left of Knights keeper Jenny Wheeler, who guessed the wrong way.

"It was a questionable call that gave us the penalty shot opportunity," Weimer said. "I wouldn't have called it. The angels were on our side when the ref called it."

"That's the nature of the game," Middletown coach John Miller said. "You can outplay somebody for 80 minutes and lose. We understand that."

Middletown (5-2-1, 4-0-1) equalized in the 33rd minute when a crossing pass deflected off a defender right to All-State player Lainey Nichols, who settled the ball, then blasted it past Wildcats keeper Catie Vancour.

Other than that, Vancour, a sophomore, was solid and at times spectacular in the second half and two overtimes. She robbed Angie Harvey of a goal in the 64th minute, diving to her left to deflect a low laser past the left post, and five minutes into the first overtime, she stopped Nichols' high, hard shot from 10 yards out and pounced on a follow-up shot which was partially fanned on.

"We have three goalkeepers on the team, two sophomores (Vancour and Caitlin Witman) and a junior (Elizabeth Coleman)," Weimer said. "Catie's our No. 1, and because of tonight she's still our No. 1. Because they're all so competitive in practice, it makes us better in games."

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