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Leopard girls put out Campers' fire

November 05, 1998|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Between its crisp passing and smothering defense, Smithsburg's girls soccer team didn't give Allegany many chances to score.

To be exact, the Campers had just one opportunity. And while they took full advantage of it, it wasn't nearly enough as the Leopards claimed a 4-1 victory in the Class 1A West quarterfinals Wednesday night.

"We had a great passing game," said Smithsburg senior Andy Henson, who finished with one goal and one assist. "We've been passing better for the last few games. We got some kind of spark, and just started looking for each other more. If we can keep doing that I think we'll do really well in any game against any team."

Hanson's goal, in the 20th minute of the first period, gave the Leopards a lead they would not come close to relinquishing.

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When its passing game was unable to keep the ball away from Allegany (4-8), the defense immediately took over to reclaim possession. The Campers managed just one shot on goal all evening - April Powell's breakaway in the 32nd minute of the second half, which scooted past back-up goalie Megan Ball.

"Our defense was really key," said Smithsburg coach Richard Daughtridge. "Laura Spessard played an incredible sweeper, and Lindsay Layman, Amy Metz and Julie Neuman teamed to really push the ball all night."

While Allegany was having problems just gaining possession of the ball, the Leopards were taking target practice at the Campers' goal. Only a superlative effort from goalie Brooke Payton kept the score from getting completely out of hand, saving 24 of Smithsburg's 33 shots on goal.

The Leopards made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute of the first period when Kayla Oyster took a pass from Jessica Storm, and kicked it off the left post past Payton.

A Morgan Church penalty kick early in the second half gave Smithsburg a 3-0 before Stephanie Hepperle scored from 10 yards off Henson's assist.

Smithsburg's domination allowed Daughtridge to get all of his players in the game, which he hopes will pay dividends later in the playoffs.

"It gives them confidence," said Daughtridge. "It does away with the jitters when they get into the next game."

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