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Leopards fall in state lacrosse semifinals

May 18, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

HAYWARD, Md. - Smithsburg's maiden voyage into lacrosse state tournament competition was rendered unsuccessful Saturday afternoon as the Leopards ran into a group of battering Rams from Parkside in the Class 2A-1A semifinals.

Parkside took control of the match by scoring four goals in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half to turn a 5-2 halftime lead into a 18-5 victory.

Senior attacker Shawn Hunt scored four of Smithsburg's goals, but the Leopards had no additional answers against Parkside, which applied tremendous stick defense throughout the contest.

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"Defensively they played straight up on us," Hunt said. "They didn't have any wild defenses. And they were pretty physical in the second half."

Parkside's strength played out as advantages as the game wore on.

"We played well in the first half," coach Joe Dietrich said. "It was obvious they had a number of skilled sticks and they just got us in the second half.

Even though the Leopards were down by three at the break, Dietrich said his team was more than capable of fighting back.

"We were down by as much as five during the season so we had the ability to do so," he said. "We just didn't get enough shots off and that's because we didn't win many faceoffs."

Parkside consistently ruled the center faceoff after its goals. In its early second-half outburst, the Rams controlled the pace not allowing Smithsburg an offensive possession.

Smithsburg's 13-year lacrosse program, all under Dietrich, got off to a rousing start in state competition when Hunt blasted a 25-yard shot over the right shoulder of Parkside goalie Joe Horner with 8:50 to play in the opening quarter for a 1-0 lead.

The Leopards (12-4) had answered the bell with three powerful shots that Horner stopped prior to Hunt's goal.

Parkside (15-1) stormed back at the 7:06 mark on a goal by Kylor Berkman that eluded the nets of goalie Nelson Velez for a 1-1 tie, which remained that way until Brandon Maynard scooped up a loose ball in front of the goal and scored with 55 seconds left in the period.

In the first 1:09 of the second, Maynard struck for two goals and Berkman followed with a third for a 5-1 lead.

Hunt scored from 12 yards out as he made a beautiful diving catch of a pass from Jeff Sprecher just wide of the net and in the same motion hurling the ball past Horner.

Out of the halftime break, Maynard led the four-goal onslaught with a pair before Hunt stopped the bleeding with a goal on a shot he flipped over his shoulder.

Parkside then dazzled Smithsburg with another four-goal burst in just over a minute for a 13-3 lead before Hunt scored again.

"We won the regionals this year so we met that goal we had at the beginning of the year," Dietrich said of his veteran squad that included 10 seniors. "Right now, if you tell me we'll go 12-4 next year, I'll take it."

Kelly Schellenberg scored Smithsburg's fifth goal in the final quarter.

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