Leopards sweep pair from Hubs

March 28, 2004|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - This is a rebuilding year for the Smithsburg boys lacrosse team.

But it may get harder for Leopards coach Joe Dietrich to convince opponents of that as the season progresses.

Senior Mike Trueblood scored five goals and sophomore Brad Shaffer had three goals and five assists as Smithsburg, the defending Maryland Class 1A West champion, opened MVAL West Division play with a 14-7 win over North Hagerstown on Saturday afternoon.

"It really is a rebuilding year," Dietrich said. "We lost 10 seniors from that team last year."

The Smithsburg girls also ran away from the Hubs, 16-7, behind a stellar six-goal performance by sophomore Erin Bergstrom.

North opened the scoring less than a minute into the boys game, as freshman Jarell Hasan bounced one into the goal.

But the Leopards (1-1) struck back as Brad Shaffer rifled a shot into the upper left corner just 30 seconds later. Shaffer added a second goal to give the Leopards a 2-1 lead entering the second period.


"We are a young team but our guys focus well," Shaffer said. "I think we do better in a close, physical game, and that's what I was hoping for."

Shaffer got his wish in the second period..

Both teams laid out several bone-jarring checks and the physical play seemingly benefited the Leopards. Trueblood whistled in a top-shelf shot in with just under nine minutes left as Smithsburg built a 6-2 halftime lead.

"We wanted to put the heat on them," Trueblood said. "Being a young team, we need to get our confidence going and play at a high level."

North goalie David Broadwater was barraged with shots, registering 25 saves for the match.

"That's incredible," Dietrich said. "North's goalie played very well to make that many saves."

But the pressure finally paid off as Smithsburg took a commanding 10-5 lead into the final period.

"We talked about eliminating unforced errors," Dietrich said. "That really hurt us in our opening loss to Chapel Gate.

"We are in for a tough run in our schedule. As we get deeper into the season, we will have to work harder."

In the girls match, Bergstrom's six scores was hard to overcome for a young North team playing two freshmen in goal.

"We are very young in goal," North coach John Chirgott said. "Goalie is the toughest position on the field. ... You miss one shot and you question yourself. You miss two, it gets worse."

And it did for North in the second half. Leading 7-4, the Leopards pounced, getting a goal apiece from Meghan Thompson and Lyndsay Bates and three straight by Jordan Williams.

"We worked hard all day," Jordan said. "That is what you have to do to win one of these."

"We back each other up," Bergstrom said. "I'm only as good as my teammates behind me."

Bergstrom was outstanding, ripping several shots into the North goal after getting free in point-blank range.

Laura Best added three goals for Smithsburg. Kelly Salvagno scored three for North.

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