Prep soccer notes - Blue Storm packing a lot more punch

October 01, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

Talk about turning things around.

Just six games into this season, the Mercersburg Academy girls soccer team already has surpassed its total number of wins and goals scored from last year.

The Blue Storm, who were 5-12 and outscored 48-24 in 2003, are 6-0 and have outscored opponents 25-4.

"It's exciting," Mercersburg second-year coach Heather Reichhart said. "Everyone is working harder this year. They got a taste of winning last year and realized hard work was the key to doing it this year. Everyone is just really excited about soccer. It's been contagious.

"We only lost three starters from last year's team, and we brought in some key new athletes."

Two of the newcomers - senior forward Brittany Lattisaw and junior forward Luciana Bolona - lead the team in scoring. Lattisaw, who had a hat trick in the Storm's impressive 5-1 win over Martinsburg on Wednesday, has a team-high eight goals and three assists. Bolona has six goals and five assists.


Freshman midfielder Lauren Dobbish has added a team-high six assists and a goal, and junior forward Jessie Tippen, a returner, has four goals and two assists.

"Those four have scored or had an assist in every game," Reichhart said.

And Mercersburg's defenders - Addie Crawford, Ashley Hill, Rachael Hendrickson, Claire Atkins and goalie Steph Turner - who are all returners, obviously have become a stingier bunch.

"They've really done a great job," Reichhart said. "They move around and work as a unit."

But the Storm aren't ready to celebrate anything just yet. Their Mid-Atlantic Prep League schedule still is ahead of them. Mercersburg plays host to Lawrenceville (N.J.) on Saturday in its MAPL opener.

"The MAPL will be really competitive," Reichhart said. "But I really think we can beat a couple of those teams, which would be a huge milestone for us. To my knowledge, we've never beaten any of those teams since we joined the league and started playing soccer in the fall four years ago."

Since switching from a spring season, the Storm also has never finished with an overall winning record.

"We definitely have the potential to do it this year," Reichhart said. "We can do it."

An upset?

Playing in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division, the Chambersburg boys probably have the most difficult schedule of any area team.

At least the Trojans' record doesn't seem to indicate how they match up against the Tri-State's top teams.

The Trojans (2-7-2, 1-5-1) blanked previously unbeaten and then-No. 1 Martinsburg 3-0 last week for just their third win in the last two years.

"Let's put it this way, they were as good as anything I've seen so far in West Virginia," Martinsburg assistant coach Randy Boyer said. "They were definitely good. They had an answer for everything we threw at them. They were fast, quick and passed the ball, and we were just caught flat-footed."

Shutout streak

Since allowing a goal in its 3-1 win over Urbana on Sept. 9, the Walkersville boys team has pitched 392 consecutive minutes of shutout soccer, with Grant Green and Patrick Skovira combining goalkeeping efforts.

The Lions, who opened the season with a pair of 1-0 losses at the Pocomoke Tournament, have won six straight.

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