No. 7 Williamsports boots No. 6 Smithsburg-girls soccer

September 24, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

WILLIAMSPORT - To the Williamsport girls soccer team, Smithsburg is like a neighbor who borrows things and won't give anything back.

This year, the No. 7 Wildcats want their "loan" back.

"Smithsburg and Williamsport go way back," Wildcats coach John Weimer said. "We won the region three years in a row until they won it last year. We want (the region) title back. This is a stepping stone."

No. 6 Smithsburg was considered a first major hurdle for Williamsport's vault back into prominence as the Wildcats turned the momentum on a penalty kick and turned up the pressure with two second-half goals Monday for a 3-1 victory over the Leopards.


"We thought that Smithsburg would be very competitive," Weimer said. "They just came off an overtime loss to Middletown. We knew we'd have to play hard to beat them. If we could get past Smithsburg, it would be a good measuring stick."

And the Wildcats (4-1) measured up, but they had to inch their way into position.

It started on the back line with the play of goalie Catie Vancour and some spectacular clearing plays by the defensive backs. The only glitch came in the 31st minute when Stephanie Smith lofted a direct kick to the mouth of the goal.

Vancour came out and tipped the ball, which bounced crazily around Kristen Poffenberger until she was able to put a foot on it to score the goal for a 1-0 lead.

Smithsburg kept the ball in the attacking zone for much of the last 20 minutes of the first half until one rush changed the momentum.

Meggan McGill was tackled hard in the scoring box in the final minute of the half, resulting in the penalty kick. McGill eyed up the shot and fired it in the bottom left corner of the goal past Lisa Belella to give Williamsport a 1-1 tie at the half.

"That penalty kick was the turning point of the game," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowlkes said. "We were winning the battles in the first half, but the penalty kick gave them confidence. We had some chances to be up by two goals in the first half but didn't finish. They took it to us in the second half."

Williamsport took its time and got more aggressive from the onset of the second half and took the game away from Smithsburg.

The Wildcats kept the ball in the Leopards' end and picked their spots to seize the game.

First, Laura Scuffins walked in and unloaded a blast from 15 yards out on the left wing into the left side of the net at the 58th minute to give the Wildcats the lead.

Morggan McGill put the finishing touches on the win by popping in the rebound of Meggan McGill's shot off the left goalpost in the 73rd minute for the two-goal cushion.

"We just got more patience," Weimer said. "Our backline wasn't controlling the ball in the first half. All four of our defenders did a better job in the second half. This was the most competitive game we've had since our opener with North Hagerstown. This was the game to judge where we're at."

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