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It's post time - Warriors, Leopards tie

September 09, 1998|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

BOONSBORO - If there's any doubt that soccer is a game of inches, just ask Gary Hawbaker.

If the goal was about six inches wider, the Smithsburg coach might have an undefeated soccer team.

Instead, the Leopards remain winless after Tuesday night's 1-1 tie against Boonsboro in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League opener for both teams.

After watching three of its 21 shots in regulation bounce off the posts, Smithsburg (0-1-1) had eight opportunities in the two overtimes, but was unable to score.

"This is the second straight game when we outshot the opposition, and created fantastic scoring opportunities, but just can't find the net," said Hawbaker. "We just aren't finishing. We're building well, and getting scoring opportunities, but we're not finishing."

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Dustin Hurley tied the game for the Warriors (1-0-1) in the 37th minute of the second period on a 25-yard shot above the outstretched hand of Leopards goalkeeper Ryan Bergstrom to force the game into overtime.

With just 15 players in uniform (one of whom has had just two practices), it was in the overtime periods that Boonsboro began to appear fatigued. But goalie Sam Lind came up big, with five saves in the two 10-minute overtimes.

In the second overtime, Lind was credited with three saves, one Smithsburg shot hit the post, and another - on a breakaway - sailed wide from 15 yards out.

"They left everything out there on the field," said Warriors coach Jeff Palm of his players. "If there's such a thing as giving 100 percent, they gave it tonight. That's why I call these guys 'The Fab 14.'"

After a scoreless first half, Smithsburg took the lead on a Ryan Daughtridge direct kick from 35 yards away in the 12th minute of the second period.

"Part of our problem is that we're supposed to be a very good team, and everyone is going to play their best game against us," Hawbaker said. "Right now we have to find a way to put the ball in the net."

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