Diamonds are suit of choice

Pennsylvania tops Maryland in local soccer all-star game to benefit cancer victims.

Pennsylvania tops Maryland in local soccer all-star game to benefit cancer victims.

November 26, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - It's tough to call anyone a loser when everyone's working together for a good cause.

Of course, there's always going to be a winner when the job's done on a competitive playing field.

Behind Shalom Christian midfielder Simon Henry's early first-half goal and Big Spring goalkeeper Michael Owen's 11 saves, The Public Opinion's Pennsylvania boys soccer all-stars posted a 1-0 victory over The Herald-Mail's Maryland squad in the first Four Diamonds All-Star Game Monday night at Waynesboro's Rip Engle Stadium.

All the of the game's proceeds will go to the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Fund.

"I don't think it could have gone any better. We're going to easily clear $1,000," said Waynesboro coach and event organizer Steve Tanner, whose son, Zach, 17, is currently battling cancer. "I'd love to turn it into a yearly thing. It's almost a for-sure thing."

Tanner probably won't get any arguments from those involved Monday.


"That was a great game, a fantastic game, and it was for a good cause," said Herald-Mail keeper Ali Smith of St. James. "They should keep on doing it in the future."

Yet, Smith - one of the 16 All-Washington County seniors representing the Maryland team - couldn't help but dwell a little on the past. He was the one in goal when Henry took a cross pass from Big Spring's Gregg Ellerman three minutes into the game and punched a 10-yarder just inside the left post for the night's only score.

"We didn't check back and they caught us off guard," said Smith. "It fell apart into a 2-on-1 and they made a great play.

"It just went off my fingertips. If I had it again, it would be a 0-0 game."

Maryland did all it could the rest of the way to make it a 1-1 game, finishing with a 17-12 advantage on shots and a 6-2 edge on corners, while Smith and Clear Spring goalie Josh Barnhart combined for seven saves.

"Maryland pretty much controlled the ball, putting together passes and controlling the tempo," said James Buchanan coach Eric Guyer, who guided the Pennsylvania team. "They had some great opportunities, but our goalie did a great job."

"It turned into an exciting game after that goal. We played well after that," said Williamsport's Stan Stouffer, the Maryland coach. "For two teams just showing up, it was a great game."

While it's tough to deny there's a cross-state rivalry, the biggest rivals Monday had to join forces after a season of intrastate battles.

"I liked it just for the experience of getting to know players you usually play against," said North Hagerstown defender Ryan Flurie. "And it was for a good cause - cancer."

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