Gaels rally for victory

September 15, 2004|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - The St. Maria Goretti Gaels scored twice in the final two minutes, 30 seconds to escape an upset bid by the Smithsburg Leopards for a 4-3 win Tuesday night in boys soccer game.

The Gaels improved to 4-4. The Leopards plunged to 0-5.

Trailing 3-2 with 2:30 remaining, Goretti freshman striker Colin Lam scored from the right side on an assist by junior midfielder Matt Cotleur to tie the score.

A minute later, junior striker Michael Cushwa scored the game-winner unassisted from the left side.

"I guess that you keep trying until you succeed," Cushwa said. "I owe it to the other guys for all of the hard work that they did. Most of them fought harder than I did. I just happened to be lucky to be in the proper position at the end. That's how we play at Goretti, we don't give up. Being one goal down doesn't discourage us, it makes us work harder."


Lam's game-tying goal was his third of the game.

"I'm just happy that I played well today," Lam said. "I had not played well during the previous two games.

"My teammates really helped me out. There were some beautiful passes in to me, and they definitely had a lot to do with my three goals."

Goretti junior goalkeeper Kevin Brashears made 16 saves.

"We are without a doubt a second-half team," Gaels coach Mike Long said. "Our game plan is to keep it close for one-half to three-fourths of the game with a strong defensive set-up. Then we move players around and get a little bit more aggressive offensively.

"We switch our formations at the end. We go from a five-back system to either a five-midfield or two-striker system. That's how we get our offense created by pushing an extra player forward."

Sophomore striker Mark Vomend, who moved to the area from Germany, scored three goals for Smithsburg. The Leopards outshot the Gaels, 19-10.

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