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Kremers' goal lifts No. 2 Patriots past No. 1 Titans

October 14, 2004|by CHRIS CARTER/Staff Correspondent

FREDERICK, Md. - For four years, Thomas Johnson co-captains Kristin Kremers and Lindsey Devilbiss have always taken the field together.

But when Devilbiss went down with a knee injury earlier this week, Kremers knew she needed to bring a little extra to the field if she wanted to help the No. 2 Patriots dethrone No. 1 Tuscarora.

Kremers didn't disappoint, scoring the game's lone goal in the first half and handing Tuscarora only its second loss of the season and its first shutout loss, 1-0 Wednesday night.

"Lindsey and I have been best friends for a long time and we've been through a lot," said Kremers, wearing Devilbiss' No. 4 jersey. "Up until tonight's game, we've always been out there together, so I thought I needed to step it up."

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After a Tuscarora foul in the 14th minute, Kremers booted the direct kick 40 yards off her left foot and into the goal, just out of the reach of Titans keeper Emmy Simpkins.

"I usually never take direct kicks with my left foot but I did it in a club game and it worked for me, so I thought I'd try it again tonight," Kremers said.

The Patriots (7-3) beat the Titans (9-2) to the ball for much of the first half and played stout defense to hold the area's top-ranked team at bay.

"No matter how the game goes, we try not to get away from our style of play," TJ coach Jason Hoffman said. "We play really well in our system and we did a good job of sticking with it."

Tuscarora looked more like the area's top team in the second half and moved the ball for two good looks at the goal in the first seven minutes. Both came up empty, with Molly Franklin's shot hitting off the left goal post and Rachel Holmes' attempt tipped away by Patriots goalie Caitlyn Marsh.

"We were more intense in the second half and we were able to create some chances, but they had a response for everything we had," Tuscarora coach Mark Wolcott said.

The Titans' best opportunity came in the final minute. Tuscarora's Holmes, Chrissy Conrad and Natalie Salovich exchanged the ball down the field and rumbled to within 10 feet of the Patriots goal, but got tangled up with Patriots defenders and the ball rolled to the right of the goal, virtually ending any chance to send the game to overtime.

"I think this is one of those games that whatever the outcome was, we were going to be able to take something from it," Wolcott said. "This game showed that we struggled with some of the physical aspects and we'll need to work on that getting ready for the playoffs."

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