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Bigger is better vs. 'Cats

November 18, 2000

Bigger is better vs. 'Cats



By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer


CATONSVILLE, Md. - Despite all its success and three straight trips to the Class 1A final, the Williamsport girls soccer team finds itself with a horrible case of timing.

Two years ago, the Wildcats were beaten by Howard County power Hammond, one year before the Bears moved up to 2A. Saturday night at UMBC Stadium, they saw the trick turned on them again.

Glenelg got a goal early in the second half and made it stand up, giving the Gladiators a 1-0 victory and their second straight title over the Wildcats before moving up a class next season.

"I think we did great," Williamsport coach John Weimer said. "I'd take second every time if our team gives 100 percent like they did tonight. And we won't have to mess with these guys ever again."

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Williamsport (13-5-1) thought maybe this was its chance. It had put together a nine-game winning streak heading into the final and had established a short passing game to supply its offense. Against the bigger and stronger Gladiators, it went for naught.

"We weren't nervous at all," senior midfielder Skyler Sanders said. "We were ready. But they were quicker and the ball just rolled their way."

Glenelg (14-3-2) wrapped up its best season ever with a strong offensive effort, but only one goal to show for it. It came in the 48th minute, when two defenders knocked Williamsport keeper Lindsay Dellinger off the ball, which rolled to Katie Kirley.

She pounded home the 5-yard shot for the lead, but the Gladiators could get no more, thanks to missed opportunities and a gutty performance by an overworked Williamsport defense.

"They worked their butts off out there," said Dellinger, who finished with 11 saves. "Without them, we would have been ... whew."

"One mistake and you're in a tie," Glenelg coach Mike Williams said. "But we held up. The kids played well, and one tonight was enough."

And for Williamsport, one goal was simply too much. The Wildcats got only five shots - their best chance came on a sliding shot by Brooke Weimer in the 45th minute that was saved by a diving Lauren Koutrelakos.

"After the goal, we felt (the pressure)," Sanders said. "But we didn't give up, just like we didn't give up all year. That's the thing, no one thought we'd be here ... we're proud of what we did."

The only question is, can Williamsport be even more proud in the future with a fourth straight final appearance - and no Howard County powerhouse in the way?

"It's when are we going to get one of these," Sanders said. "Because it's about time."

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