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North girls mash Walkersville

October 29, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

North Hagerstown lost its "meat and potatoes" player to injury but the remainder of the team filled out the entree and the No. 1 Hubs went on to defeat Walkersville 2-0 on Tuesday night at School Stadium in the Maryland Class 2A West girls soccer quarterfinals.

Senior captain Corrie Jones, who leads the Hubs with 12 goals, suffered a right heel injury two minutes into the contest and never returned. She broke the same foot at the end of the 2002 season and the injury was to have been re-evaluated after the game.

"That was a big loss for us when Corrie went out," coach Rick Aleshire said. "She puts up defense and she can shoot from 35-to-40 yards out."

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The top-seeded Hubs (15-1), who will return to playoff action either Friday or Saturday, looked passive at times offensively, but a staunch defense held 10th-ranked Walkersville (6-7-1) to only four shots. The Hubs had 14 shots on the night.

In the 17th minute of the first half, sophomore Kelsey Brasher nailed her fifth goal of the year, booting a loose ball between a pair of Walkersville defenders and past keeper Anna Lebo from 14 yards to the right side of the nets.

"I knew the ball was between the two defenders and I knew where I was going with the shot," Brasher said.

In the final portion of the second half North Hagerstown retreated to a defensive posture and kept Walkersville from penetrating inside 15 yards.

With less than two minutes remaining the Hubs got a much-needed sigh of relief when senior Brenna Bacon popped in a shot from 16 yards out over the head of Lebo, who made seven saves.

Hubs keeper Alexa Suiter posted her 10th shutout of the season and was able to easily guard the nets while her teammates, led by freshman Cara Thompson, stifled the Lions.

"We didn't have a good passing game tonight," Aleshire said. "We made some adjustments at the half and played more on the ground. (Cara) Thompson did a heckuva job on defense and it was a great effort. Every game against Walkersville is physical, but they didn't get many shots."

Walkersville coach Kent Wetzel thought his team "might not have been 'up' for the game as much as last week when the Lions lost to North, 2-1, in a regular-season final.

"We hurt ourselves by not winning balls that were 50/50," Wetzel said. "North controlled the midfield."

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