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Gaels keep Ryan's hope

September 30, 1999|By DAN SPEARS

Gaels keep Ryan's hope: Goretti girls hand Smithsburg fourth straight loss

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg girls soccer coach Richard Daughtridge isn't about to press the panic button.

But Thursday night, Goretti striker Erin Ryan may have pushed every button he has, scoring a natural hat trick and setting up a fourth goal as the No. 7 Gaels took a surprisingly easy 5-1 victory and handed the No. 9 Leopards their fourth straight loss.

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"Until they get to the point that they're emotionally back, the rhythm just isn't going to be there," Smithsburg coach Richard Daughtridge said. "I haven't given up on them yet, though. I still believe in them."

But for the first 20 minutes Thursday night, the Leopards (3-4) didn't believe in themselves. Smithsburg came out emotionally flat against a charged-up Goretti side, and the difference came to light quickly.

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Ryan scored on a breakaway in the fourth minute, converted off a corner that ricocheted off teammate Valerie Cushwa in the sixth minute, then headed in a Bobbie Johnson corner in the 21st minute for a 3-0 lead for the Gaels (6-4).

"I didn't think we'd get out that quick," Ryan said. "But everything went real well and we worked real well together."

Ryan's third tally got Daughtridge up off the bench, and got the Leopards up off the mat. But Bobbie Johnson's 25-yard free kick put them in a 4-0 hole, and when normally reliable Kyley Thompson hit the post with a penalty kick two minutes later, Smithsburg's fate was pretty much known.

"They regrouped really well," Goretti coach Victor Della Mea said. "If that goes in maybe it's a different game. But it didn't."

An aggressive Goretti defense wouldn't let it become a different game either.

"(Defender) Emmy Vollmer played fabulous tonight, she shut down the right side all night," Della Mea said. "The rest of them, they're young, but they're tough back there. They don't quit."

Smithsburg keeper Megan Ball had seven saves, including a breakaway stop of Ryan in the second half, but Goretti keeper Lauren Costello was equal to the task, picking up six saves with a solid night in the net.

"This was big," Ryan said. "We've played with a lot of the girls on their team in club ball and stuff, so we really wanted this one bad."

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