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New setup, same result for Wildcats

October 23, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - League, conference, whatever. It's all the same to the Williamsport boys soccer team.

The Herald-Mail second-ranked Wildcats, winners of the last four Monocacy Valley Athletic League crowns, wrapped up the newly realigned MVAL's first Antietam Conference title with a 5-0 win over Boonsboro on Wednesday night in the final regular-season game for each team.

The Wildcats (12-2) finished 7-0 in the Antietam, outscoring conference opponents 38-5, while the Warriors (8-6), who could have captured a piece of the crown had they won, finished 5-2 in conference play. Both teams, after receiving first-round byes, host Maryland Class 1A West quarterfinal games on Tuesday.

"We came out here and wanted to get it," said Williamsport forward Ben Jordan, who scored two of the Wildcats' four second-half goals and assisted on another. "And we also, more importantly, wanted to get a good game in before playoffs. We just need to carry this in and keep working hard."

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Despite outshooting Boonsboro 7-0 in the first half, Williamsport had only one goal to show for it. Chris Ciccarelli put the Wildcats up 1-0 in the eighth minute, scoring off a through-ball pass from Rhet Troxell.

However, Williamsport didn't waste much time - or opportunity - in the second half. Phil Jordan headed older-brother Ben's throw-in pass over the reach of Boonsboro keeper Evan Lowery for a 2-0 lead just less than two minutes into the half.

Three minutes later, Ben Jordan picked up his own shot deflection off the left post and didn't miss this time, making it 3-0.

"We broke it open with hustle," Ben Jordan said. "In the first half, we played just as hard, but we just missed finishing some plays. ... I had been missing some shots early and was getting frustrated, but I just kept going at it and got one to go in."

He got another one to go in in the 19th minute of the half, beating the swarm to a loose ball and punching it in from 10 yards out for a 4-0 Wildcats lead.

Tyler Cannon completed the scoring with just less than eight minutes to play, drilling a free kick into the right side of the goal. The Wildcats finished with advantages of 21-3 on shots and 6-0 on corners.

"They're a heck of a team," Boonsboro coach Brad Distad said. "They have some great players up front that really fuel their offense. If you can't stop them, you can't stop their team."

Williamsport coach Stan Stouffer was especially pleased with his defense, which didn't allow a goal for the sixth time this season. Keepers Jeremy Draper, who played all but the final few minutes, and Matt Sweigart combined for the shutout.

"The defense played very well, particularly the four backs," Stouffer said. "And Draper played his best game all year in goal because he talked and directed the team."

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