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North boys keep working until job is done

November 01, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

After an entire season of working offenses, defenses, passing and strategy, the North Hagerstown soccer team had to resort to something it couldn't practice.

Perseverance.

It was that old college try ... That the little train that could ... That we shall overcome type attitude that carried the Hubs. North didn't succeed at first, but it tried, tried, tried again - and it worked - in a 2-0 victory over Century in the quarterfinal round of the Class 2A West regional tournament at School Stadium.

The Hubs peppered the Century goal from every angle - near and far, left and right - with 27 shots but goalie Chris Jones was equal to the task on most occasions.

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The key word was most.

Ben McAbee and Mikeal Tigett each notched goals to overcome the missed opportunities while North's defense only allowed goalie Brian Williams to be tested by two shots.

"We created a lot of opportunities. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't," North coach Glen Singer said. "I'm just glad we created so many to get a chance for a couple to go in."

North owned the ball for much of the first half but couldn't get the ball past Jones with most of its booming shots and Grade-A chances. The Hubs finally got on the board with the help of some ballet moves by McAbee.

McAbee was patrolling the front of the goal on the wet, slick field and slipped an fell. As he went to get up, he found a loose ball at his feet. McAbee struggled to his feet and dribbled in a shot from 10 yards out in the final two minutes before halftime on a move which was half Pele bicycle flip, half Chuck Norris karate kick.

"The one thing I told them before the game was to shoot, shoot and shoot again," Singer said. "Sometimes it's just better to be lucky than good."

North waited until the 67th minute to get the all-important second goal, coming off a free kick by Tigett.

Tigett took the kick just outside of the front, right corner of the box after a foul. Century built a defensive wall between the ball and the goal, but Tigett's left-footed kick curled around the wall and past Jones into the right side of the net for the two-score lead.

"That was a very well-taken shot," Singer said. "I was glad to see that second goal ... A third one would have been bigger, but that second one was big. It took us a lot of chances to get our scores and we were in a position where all they needed was one to get even in the game."

North will play either Middletown or Walkersville - two teams it beat during the regular season - Monday in the West semifinals.

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