Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Walter Johnson Plays by Different Set of Rules in Win
Walter Johnson 4, Quince Orchard 1
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, October 2, 2007; E05

Walter Johnson's Roya Hakimzadeh followed the rules. After making eight saves and allowing just her second goal of the season in the first half of the Wildcats' 4-1 win at sixth-ranked Quince Orchard last night, the 6-foot-1 sophomore goalkeeper knew she would be pulled in the second half.

It's the system that Wildcats Coach Tom Wheeler has devised so that all three of his goalkeepers can be worked into the rotation.

"If they pitch a shutout, they start the second half," Wheeler said. "But if they give up a goal, they know they're coming out."

So, during her team's halftime break, Hakimzadeh helped warm up freshman goalkeeper Jessica Goldstone, who, by Wheeler's rule, should have been her replacement.

"She was hot," Wheeler said of Hakimzadeh, who had made just 16 saves on the season before last night's game. "She was making all the saves and dominated the box, so I thought. 'I'm not going to change this because what does that tell her? No matter what she does, it's not good enough?' "

Hakimzadeh made four key saves in the second half, including ripping two shots off the crossbar on leaping efforts to shut down Quince Orchard's high-powered offense and help the Wildcats move into first place in the Montgomery 4A West division.

Walter Johnson (8-1, 3-0 Montgomery 4A West) entered last night's game tied with Quince Orchard (7-2, 2-1) as Montgomery County's second-highest scoring offense. Both squads were averaging 3.75 goals per game and each had allowed less than 10 goals on the season.

The Wildcats' attack got started in the 10th minute, when junior midfielder Christine Walsh scored from 15 yards. Three minutes later, sophomore Catherine Madden scored on a cross that found its way into the net. Two minutes after that, sophomore Lauren Levine right-footed a blast just under the crossbar from 20 yards. Junior Caroline Miller finished the scoring in the 28th minute.

A strong back line of junior Mitra Ebrahimi, junior Tess Petesch, Levine and senior Mollie Reiss frustrated Quince Orchard's attack.

"We've always kind of been in the shadow of the offense and we've been fine with that," Reiss said of the Wildcats' defense. "Today our statement was that we are an integral part of this team and we can shut down those tough offenses."

Walter Johnson 4 No. 6 Quince Orchard 1 Backed Into a Corner: Quince Orchard outshot Walter Johnson, 19-10, but was unable to convert on five corner kick opportunities. Shell's Game: Cougars senior forward Christie Shell scored her sixth goal of the season in the 30th minute to cut the lead to 4-1 just before the half.

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