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Wildcats sweep

November 11, 2000|By DAN SPEARS

Wildcats sweep

Girls defeat Kent County to advance to state finals ...



BALTIMORE - The Williamsport girls soccer team thought luck was going to be against it Friday night when it lost the coin toss before its Class 1A semifinal against Kent County.

As it turned out, the Wildcats' skill was all they needed.

Thanks to a solid passing game, Williamsport scored three times into a gusty breeze in the first half at Pikesville High School, then turned on the jets with the wind at its back for a 9-0 victory and a third straight trip to the state final.

"In the parking lot, we were wigging out a little. ... We lost the toss and the captains were a little disappointed," senior midfielder Brooke Weimer said. "So we wanted to hold them, but we got the goal and it set the tone. ... I think the nerves went out and we passed the ball really well."

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The first goal came quickly. A Skyler Sanders throw-in in the third minute wasn't cleared by Kent's Katie Sappey, and Jessica Piper put the loose ball past keeper Brittany Garvey for a 1-0 lead.

The ball may have been saved if the Trojans (4-12) would have had Greta Sommers in net. But Sommers, who had a mind-boggling 214 saves in 12 games, had also scored 14 goals in Kent's shocking three-game playoff run, and coach Frank Ogens played her in the field.

"She's how we got here," Ogens said. "And we were winning, so why change it? But honestly, we figured anything we got here would have been gravy."

Instead, the Wildcats (13-4-1) did some serious mashing. Sammie Smiles scored on an assist from Piper in the 11th minute, and Piper closed the first-half scoring with a shot off the bottom of the crossbar.

"It was just like our game with Smithsburg two years ago in the playoffs. Only this time we scored into the wind," Williamsport coach John Weimer said. "This is probably the best game we've had all year passing the ball and controlling it. Not getting excited and being patient."

With the wind in the second half, the Wildcats solidifed that effort. Brooke Weimer scored twice in 45 seconds and Piper finished off a hat trick three minutes later with a bicycle kick in the box. The Wildcats began putting in their reserves, but the scoring continued. Jennifer Brown scored twice in 90 seconds and Stacey Cannon got the final goal.

All that while holding the Trojans without a shot in the second half and forcing them to stick Somers back in the net to avoid more goals.

"Jen Brown played awesome, everybody did," Piper said. "We all really played well tonight."

Williamsport will play Glenelg, which beat Pikesville 5-0 in the other semifinal, in the state championship next weekend at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County at a date and time to be determined. While it is the Wildcats' third straight shot at its first state title - and second in a row against the Gladiators - this may be the youngest team they've put forward.

"Last year, we were extremely nervous, but that got better as we started playing," Brooke Weimer said. "As seniors, we're going to have to step up and let them know as best we can that it's just another game."

... Before boys do the same with win over St. Michaels.

By DAN SPEARS

Staff Writer

BALTIMORE - The St. Michaels boys soccer team was looking for a little revenge Friday night in the Class 1A boys soccer semifinals against Williamsport, the team that knocked the Devils out of last year's tournament.

Only problem was, the Wildcats had even more payback on their own minds.

Williamsport wanted a third straight shot at a state title, and it got it with a 3-1 victory at Perry Hall High School. For the third straight time, the Wildcats will face Oakland Mills, which beat Sparrows Point 2-0 in the other semifinal.

"We want revenge. We don't want to go down there three times and get beat," said junior forward Carlos Gomez, who scored twice. "And we aren't rolling over just because they've beat us the last two times."

The Wildcats (17-2) also didn't roll over against the Devils, using Gomez's goals to fire up a large Williamsport crowd, buoyed by the girls team and its fans, who drove across Baltimore after its semifinal win at Pikesville.

The first came in the 32nd minute, after Jason Knicley dribbled down the left side all the way from midfield. Just before the endline, he crossed in to Gomez, who buried it from inside the goal box for a 1-0 lead.

"He needed that tonight. He's been struggling a little lately," Williamsport coach Stan Stouffer said. "Jason's been hot for us lately, but he wasn't tonight. That's why we've two of them up there."

If the first goal didn't end Gomez's struggles, the second certainly did. Just 80 seconds into the second half, he took a through ball down the right side and buried a 20-yarder from an incredibly tight angle for a 2-0 lead.

"That was a tough shot," Gomez said with a grin. "(Todd) Knepper hit me, and I just kept running onto it. I wanted to take a shot at the far corner and it went in, thank God. I was hoping it would go."

After that, the Wildcats' defense stepped it up, limiting St. Michaels to four shots in the second half, and only one after the Devils pulled within 3-1 with 15 minutes to play.

"We were just thinking we had to play together as a team. We've been the same guys back there over and over again," senior defender Ryan Beard said. "For three years it's been us. Just get the ball out of there."

"Their backs played strong in the air," St. Michaels coach Bill Schultz said. "You get position, you win the balls. And that's what they did."

And once again, the Wildcats have put themselves in position for a state title.

"It's Oakland Mills again," Stouffer said. "We've seen them twice now. We'll give it a crack. Yeah, they may have played better competition through the year, but we'll play our game."

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