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Hubs punish Lions late for 2-1 win

November 04, 2000

Hubs punish Lions late for 2-1 win



By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer


The North Hagerstown boys soccer team was pushed, pulled and fouled into a one-goal deficit with 10 minutes to play against Liberty Saturday in the Maryland Class 3A West semifinals.

The Hubs got back at the Lions the only way they knew how - on the scoreboard.

North scored twice in the last 10 minutes, then got a reaction save from keeper David Chaney at the final whistle to take a 2-1 victory for a spot in the region final.

"I've never played in a game like that where I've been killed so many times," senior forward Mike Brooks said. "But you can't get your head into it, you'll take yourself right out of the game."

For 70 minutes, North (16-1) looked to be another victim of a punishing defense by Liberty (12-4-1), which had only allowed eight goals all season on its way to a Central Maryland Conference title.

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"We were out of sync. They rushed us, we got out of our game plan," North coach Lance Baker said. "We knew coming in they were a very physical team, and it was a very physical game. But we did well, we responded to that."

A rare Liberty rush on the net in the second half was stopped when Chaney intercepted a cross from the right. He quickly punted to midfield, where North had a 2-on-2. Midfielder Tim Salvagno flicked a header back to striker Filip Simic, who first beat an offside trap, then Liberty keeper Bobby Khaksari to tie the score.

"With a 1-0 lead with about 15 minutes left, you're going to play a little more defensively. Then a couple of breaks didn't go our way," Liberty coach Ed DeVincent said. "That's what happened."

What also happened was a clear swing in the momentum for the Hubs. They continued to press and, following another quick punt by Chaney, had a 3-on-1 in the penalty area in the 77th minute. Brooks was hauled down by his shirt - the last of a staggering 20 fouls on the day by the Lions. He received a penalty kick and beat Khaksari to the right side when the keeper guessed the wrong way.

Yet the result was in jeopardy right to the very end. Its season on the line, Liberty pressed everyone forward, and nearly got the equalizer twice. A free kick went off the crossbar from 30 yards, and in the final seconds, a Liberty free kick went to the far side of the net and landed on the foot of Trevor Havey. But his one-timer was stopped by Chaney, who caught the ball without a bobble.

"They may have won the Central Maryland Conference, but we won here, we were number one," Brooks said. "You can't go into a game thinking that they're better. You have to think you're the best team out there."

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