Prep Soccer Notebook - New private school coaches go public

September 20, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

Among the several new coaches in the area this fall are a pair of very familiar faces to the Washington County boys soccer scene.

Mike Long, who replaced Tim Cryer at St. Maria Goretti, was an All-County midfielder for the Gaels in the late 1980s. Chris Downs, who took over the St. James reins from Chris Baumann, was an All-County goalie for Williamsport in the early '90s.

While they never met on the playing field, the new skippers squared off from the sidelines on Aug. 29.

Downs picked up his first victory, as the Saints scored twice in the final 11 minutes for a come-from-behind 2-1 win at home. Long got his first taste of victory one game later, as Goretti knocked off visiting Berkeley Springs, 6-1.


Both coaches couldn't be happier to be back in the area preps groove.

"It's awesome to be back," said Long after beating the Indians. "It's my first win in Goretti since '88, and it feels even better to win as a coach."

"It's great being back," said Downs. "I have always wanted to do this, and I am really excited about the opportunity to try and bring some notoriety to a program that is in a constant war with teams that have more resources than we do.

"I think we are on the right track."

Semler leading Blazers

On the girls side, first-year Clear Spring head coach Jeff Semler has his squad going in the right direction.

The Blazers, who went 4-10-1 last season, are off to a 3-1 start. They'll also be gunning for their first-ever Washington County tourney title when they take on North Hagerstown in the Sept. 28 finale at School Stadium.

"We've never made it out of the first round and now we're going to the championship," said Semler. "The girls earned it."

Penalty kicks galore

In the Washington County Boys Soccer Tournament final, Smithsburg will square off with North at School Stadium - thanks to some finely placed penalty kicks.

In first-round tourney action, the Leopards won a 3-1 shootout against Boonsboro after regulation ended in a 1-1 tie. Smithsburg then knocked off Williamsport - which also advanced to the semifinals via penalty kicks - in similar fashion, outshooting the Wildcats 3-0 after regulation ended in a scoreless deadlock.

Call him Kickarelli

In an MVAL battle of unbeatens between the Williamsport and Smithsburg boys Tuesday night, Chris Ciccarelli proved to be the difference. The Wildcats' junior forward turned in a hat track, doing all the game's scoring as Williamsport won, 3-0.

That was fast

In another key MVAL showdown Tuesday, the Middletown girls handed North its first loss of the season, 3-0. Knights senior striker Trista Haupt delivered the knock-out blow, scoring two goals in a 45-second span early in the second half.

But that doesn't top what Martinsburg's Chad Crosbie did against Musselman in their season opener last month. The senior midfielder scored two goals in an 11-second span on his way to a hat trick in the Bulldogs' 7-0 win.

Not over 'til it's over

The Shippensburg boys probably thought they had the win in the bag against visiting James Buchanan earlier this month.

The Greyhounds led 3-0 at the half and 3-1 with three minutes remaining - before Matt Heckman and Tyler Appleby each found the back of the net off assists from Matt Myers to tie it. Appleby then completed the comeback in overtime, scoring unassisted to give the Rockets a 4-3 win.

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