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Boonsboro boots Smithsburg in boys soccer

September 08, 1999|By DAN SPEARS

SMITHSBURG - The shots were flying as fast and furious as the raindrops that preceded them.

The match lasted as long as the rain delay before it, but the Smithsburg and Boonsboro boys soccer teams put on an even more entertaining show than Mother Nature Tuesday night.

[cont. from sports page]

The Warriors got three first-half goals, then watched as Kyle Kopps' header at the final whistle went over the crossbar, letting Boonsboro escape with a 3-2 victory in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League opener for both teams.

The JV game was completed just as a low, dark cloud rumbled over South Mountain and brought plenty of lightning, rain and hail with it. Almost 90 minutes later, both teams were on the field for the opening whistle.

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"I think everyone was just anxious to play," Boonsboro coach Jeff Palm said. "... And for the field conditions, I was very pleased with the ball movement out there."

Indeed, the Warriors (1-2, 1-0) strung together plenty of solid passes in the first half, and got themselves on the board with a pair of rebound goals from Kevin Roy and Robbie Pongratz. And when Nick Conner slammed home a perfectly placed through ball from Austin Gray, Boonsboro had a 3-0 lead at the break.

But the shots started flowing in the second half - Smithsburg had 14, Boonsboro 16 - and so did the Leopards' confidence.

Kopps scored on a breakaway in the 55th minute, and when Brian Eichelberger put away a loose ball with two minutes to go, the Leopards (0-3, 0-1) - and a post-storm fog - pressed in on the Warriors. But Conner blocked a solid shot at net over the end line, and then Kopps sent the final corner over the net to end the game.

The ending, although exciting, is becoming way to familiar to Smithsburg. It's lost all three games by one goal.

"These kids know they can do it, it just has to happen for them to realize it," Smithsburg coach Craig Newcomer said. "If we would have scored early, this would have been a totally different ball game."

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