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Wildcats start same as last year vs. Cougars

September 05, 2000

Wildcats start same as last year vs. Cougars



By CURT HORNBECKER / Sports Correspondent


WILLIAMSPORT - Stan Stouffer didn't seem to mind watching his Williamsport boys soccer team struggle Tuesday night. It was kind of like watching a really good movie for the second time.

The Wildcats started last season the same way, and finished with a 19-2 record and a berth in the Maryland Class 1A state final.

"We were a little rusty after taking the whole weekend off," said Stouffer after his club squeaked past Catoctin, 1-0, in the season - and Monocacy Valley Athletic League - opener for both teams. "But we started last year the same way, with a 1-0 win. So I'm not going to get too worried. I'm not concerned. The kids just have to forget that they're the runners-up in the state. That was last year, this is this year."

A Jason Knicley penalty kick in the 16th minute provided the margin of victory for the Wildcats, who were otherwise unable to crack the Catoctin defense. With Chris Jurchak amassing 15 saves - including several of the spectacular variety - the Cougars managed to stay well within striking distance throughout.

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"He's been our keeper for the last two years," said Catoctin first-year coach Jack Bentley. "He's probably one of the top keepers in MVAL right now. He really played well tonight."

The Wildcats were not without scoring opportunities, as Jurchak thwarted seven of nine Williamsport shots in the first 40 minutes.

"We have a very young team," said Bentley, who fielded three freshmen and a sophomore in the starting lineup. "It's going to take some time for us to gel. We only had 12 guys, and they really worked their tails off. I'm really proud of the way they played tonight."

According to Stouffer, pride may have had a lot to do with Catoctin's effort.

"We scored a lot of goals against them over the last two years, and I'm sure they haven't forgotten that," Stouffer said. "Pride was definitely a factor."

Jurchak recorded eight saves in the second period, personally stopping all but one of Williamsport's nine shots on goal. But unlike the first half, Catoctin mounted some offense of its own, with Wildcats sophomore Ryan Martin saving all four of the Cougars shots on goal.

Catoctin had no shots on goal in the first 40 minutes.

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