Originally created 05/07/06

Wildcats no match for reigning champs



MACON, Ga. - Sometimes you're just overmatched.

That was the case Saturday night as Stratford dominated Westminster 3-0 to win its 11th consecutive GISA Class AAA girls soccer championship.

Stratford senior Jenny Carter scored all three goals, and Alabama-Birmingham signee Kate Blankenship picked up her seventh shutout of the season in goal.

"I feel like any time you go up against the 10-time defending state champions, you are an underdog," Westminster coach Mike Frease said.

"Stratford played a great game, and when they play like that it is tough to win."

Stratford actually entered the state tournament as a bit of an underdog after losing twice to rival First Presbyterian Day, which Westminster beat in Thursday's semifinals.

"I'd have to go back and look at the past championships," Stratford coach Mike White said. "But I think this has to be one of the best games we've had in the championship. I don't think people were wrong to think our streak might come to an end."

Stratford senior Adanma Ekeledo had the task of shutting down Westminster forward Margaret Houston, who has been the most prolific goal scorer in the GISA this season. Houston, who had 28 goals entering the match, didn't get a shot on goal.

"I know she's a great player and you have to know she can take a shot at any time," said Ekeledo, who has committed to Harvard.

Carter got Stratford on the board on a header from Virginia Hirschey in the 25th minute to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

Although Westminster (14-4-2) did a strong job of possessing the ball, the Wildcats never could get any looks on goal.

Carter made a breakaway goal in the 31st minute to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. The senior, however, suffered a panic attack after scoring and left the match gasping for air.

She returned in the second half and scored a goal in the 50th minute.