Saturday, May 5, 2001
By Forrest Robleto
SJSports Staff Writer
The Banshee's opened their first ever game with a three goal first half to defeat the New Jersey Wildcats 3-2 at Cherokee High School. The final result wasn't as close as the score reflected. The Banshees stayed in control until late in the game when a combination of injuries (mostly ankles) and resting the starters made the game competitive. The Wildcats came within one goal before the final whistle.
It was a gorgeous day and it couldn't have been nicer for the Banshee fans. The Banshees had a fairly strong team and the Wildcats looked very weak. At the twenty minute mark, Carli Lloyd put a header in on Wildcat keeper Eileen Blair who lost control of the rebound to Theresa Irwin who drilled the Banshees first ever goal into the back of the net from about five yards.
At thirty minutes Lloyd broke in one on one with the Wildcat keeper who tripped her in the box for a penalty kick. Lloyd scored easily for her second point of the game. Irwin got her second goal of the game when Sarah Giacomarra broke in alone on Blair. Giacomarra gave up the good shot for a pass over to Irwin who easily put it away.
The Banshees held onto the comfortable lead until late in the game when an accumulation of injuries mostly minor (including Carli Lloyd and Sarah Giacomarra) and bench lengthening made the game interesting. Laura Finey, who had three saves and zero goals against, was replaced by Stephanie Martin with seventeen minutes to play. She made one good save but when Debbie McWhinnie of the Wildcats came in all alone she gave up the first goal with only two minutes left to play. Less than a minute later, Julie Roesager and Lydia Bojeun combined to come within one. In stoppage time McWhinnie got off what could have been the tieing goal but it went high and time ran out.
The Banshees expect to improve their team when some of their players who also play in college join the team, but the other teams will probably improve similarly. The Banshees play the Northern Virginia Majestics in Virginia next week then return face them again at home at the first game of a Banshee/Baron double header Friday May 18, 2001 at 5:00PM at Cherokee high school.