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Leopards roar in lacrosse playoffs

May 14, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Walkersville had the misfortune Tuesday of spinning the wheel of the Smithsburg lacrosse offense.

Everytime certain numbers - like 18, 47 and 46 - popped up, the Lions came up losers.

Smithsburg used its unselfish offense to establish a lead, then settled in with stingy defense in the second half to suffocate Walkersville 13-6 in the Maryland Class 2A-1A West semifinals.

The plan was simple for Smithsburg (11-3).

"The plan was to look for the good shot," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said. "It's tough to play man against us and we tried to settle in. They have given us trouble before, so this just seals that we are (Monocacy Valley Athletic League) champions for the second year."

And now, the Leopards are one step from being the West region champs, which will be decided tonight when Smithsburg faces the winner of Tuesday's Middletown-Francis Scott Key match.

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The spin of Smithsburg's offense made the Leopards' scorebook an equal opportunity venture. Sean Hunt (No. 47), Mike Trueblood (18) and Kyle Schellenberg (46) each had four goals and two assists for the Leopards while Daniel Faulders finished with a goal and an assist.

The Leopards and Lions sparred for the first 22 minutes of the first half, trading goals and momentum with Smithsburg holding a 7-5 lead with two minutes left in the half.

Trueblood scored by darting from behind the goal at the 1:32 mark, unloading from the left side for an 8-5 halftime lead.

Smithsburg jumped into the driver's seat to open the third quarter, using a ball-control styled offense to run the clock. After a two-minute possession, Trueblood finished on a point-blank shot in front of the goal for the four-goal advantage.

"That's what we like to do ... get on the attack and move," Trueblood said. "When someone is open, we get it to them. I just happened to be the one that was open."

With the lead in hand, Smithsburg fell back on its defense to choke off Walkersville's open shots and scoring opportunities.

"We started to play a zone defense combined with a man," Dietrich said. "It's kind of like the box-and-one or diamond-and-one defense in basketball. With the lead, we were able to settle down and chew up the clock."

Walkersville got two goals each from P.J. Plauger, David Schanuel and Pat Spevak. Plauger got the Lions' only goal of the second half.

"When we get a lead like that, we like to run the clock down, especially against an explosive team like they are," Trueblood said. "Right now, we are pretty riled up and ready to go. It's all heart ... and we got a lot of it."

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