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Boonsboro spooks 'Cats with upset

The Warriors, who weren't supposed to have a ghost of a chance, knock Williamsport out of the state tournament.

The Warriors, who weren't supposed to have a ghost of a chance, knock Williamsport out of the state tournament.

November 01, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Halloween proved to be the perfect night for the Boonsboro boys soccer team to go knocking on No. 2 Williamsport's door.

Outfitted as the spoilers, the Warriors left Williamsport with quite the treat Thursday.

Behind Sean Bayard's first-half goal and Ryan Stone's 12 saves, Boonsboro knocked off top-seed and Monocacy Valley Athletic League champion Williamsport 1-0 in the Class 1A West regional quarterfinals.

The Warriors (5-10), who routed Southern Garrett 7-0 in the first round, will travel to Smithsburg Monday for the semifinals.

"Our team's playing really well," said Stone. "We were the underdogs and the whole team picked it up and played incredible."

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Perhaps nothing was more incredible - or at least more dramatic - than Stone's final save of the night. With less than two minutes to play, Stone made a dive to his left to stop the potential game-tying penalty kick by Williamsport gun Ben Jordan - highlighting a defensive stand that withstood the Wildcats' 12-1 second-half shot advantage.

"It was the last minute of the game, and I knew I had to pick it up," said Stone. "I was going to go right, and at the last second I decided to go left and it was just there."

Twenty minutes into the opening half, the ball was also right there for Bayard, who headed in Marc Nicolosi's corner kick after it deflected off teammate Mike Sullivan for the game's only goal.

"I was just there for the header," said Bayard. "Thank God for that. He put me in the right place at the right time. That was the No. 1 goal of my career."

After 30 minutes of relentless second-half pressure by Williamsport (12-2-1), the hosts appeared to tie it when Rhet Troxell, working from the right side, lofted the ball into the net over Stone's reach. However, the Wildcats' celebrating was short-lived, as the goal was called back due to a running-into-the-keeper violation.

It was just one of several near-misses for heavily favored Williamsport, which hadn't lost since its second game of the season.

"We played a great second half, but it just wasn't to be," said Wildcats coach Stan Stouffer. "We hit the post, we hit the bar, we went right, we had a goal called back, they stopped a penalty kick ... we put a lot of pressure on them.

"Through the years, we've been both victim and spoiler. Tonight we were the victim. To be the MVAL champs ... it's tough."

For Boonsboro, which finished ninth in the MVAL, the improbable postseason run continues.

"We pulled it off and proved that our record doesn't show how good of a team we really are," said Stone. "We're just going to keep playing the way we have been, step it up and go as far as we can."

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