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Middletown cruises in 2A West opener

October 25, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

Among the many well-quoted coaching clichs is the one about not allowing an overmatched opponent to stay in the game and build confidence.

Middletown's girls soccer team took the clich to heart Friday evening, scoring four goals in the first eight minutes and never giving South Hagerstown a chance in an 8-0 victory in a Maryland Class 2A West first-round match at School Stadium.

"One of the things we do is go over our different goals for a game, and putting those words into action," Knights first-year coach Heather Kline said. "We did that early this evening."

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Less than two minutes in, Allie Shannon's corner kick into the 6-yard box skipped off and past goalkeeper Brittany Shadrach's outstretched hands to Emily Stottlemyer, who finished the easy score for the lead.

Two minutes later, Ali Keeney pounced on a loose ball in the 6-yard box for another easy score and a two-goal edge.

Two minutes after that, Shawn Delauter's cross from the right found the head of Meagan Sheffler, who converted into the top left of the goal for a 3-0 lead.

Finally, Sheffler made a brilliant run through the middle, squeezing off a shot while between two defenders that beat Shadrach low and left for a 4-0 lead.

Middletown (7-5) used its short, quick passing game to create numerous runs down the sidelines, and held possession for most of the game. The Knights outshot the Rebels, 28-2, with Middletown's defenders pressing up and shutting off any counterattacks.

"That really is our game," Kline said about the short, grounded passing attack. "We don't always play that way. We tried to put some pressure on ourselves to work on playing that game."

Angie Harvey's goal from the middle of the 18-yard box in the 30th minute gave the Knights a 5-0 halftime lead, and Jenny Wheeler - the starting keeper who switched positions in the 10th minute - Jen Hagemann and Shannon added second-half scores.

The Rebels finished their season 1-14.

"We got better as the season went on, we improved and they gelled better as a team," South coach Bruce Buhrman said. "They never gave up and always gave it their best."

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