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Leopards roll past Warriors

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

SMITHSBURG - Candace Stanford has built her high school career on net results.

It was favorable once again for Smithsburg's senior goalkeeper, who recorded a shutout as the Leopards won for the sixth straight time Thursday with a 2-0 victory over Boonsboro in an MVAL Antietam girls soccer game.

Stanford, a three-year starter, is the only returning senior for Smithsburg which has won three straight Class 1A region championships.

"It was a well-played game by both sides," Stanford said. "They gave us a run for our money. I just came out and played with intensity the whole time and kept thinking to not let any balls get into the back of the net. I just stayed on my toes the whole time."

Stanford, who finished with 15 saves, sees better days still ahead for the No. 4 Leopards.

"Our progress has been outstanding," Stanford added. "We are finally finishing and the girls are stepping up. They're proving that they deserve to be on the field just as much as everybody else. We have a chance to go real far."

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Smithsburg (8-4, 5-1) has bounced back from an 0-3 start to win eight of its last nine games.

"Our defense has just been rock solid for the last eight games here now," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "They have just been playing very smart. Candace Stanford is one of the top goalkeepers in the area, but we do play solid defense in front of her. If we do have a lapse, Candace is there to pick up a save. Cara Jordan and Tara Bywaters do a good job in our midfield, game in and game out."

Junior forward Shannon Fowkes scored on a penalty kick through the middle in the 36th minute to give the Leopards a 1-0 lead.

Smithsburg quickly added its second goal when freshman forward Shelby Layman scored from the right side in the 39th minute off of an assist by sophomore midfielder Katie Seifarth.

"Shelby Layman is a catalyst for our team," Fowkes added. "She comes in and just injects a lot of energy into our team."

Senior goalkeeper Haley Burtner made 12 saves for Boonsboro (7-6, 3-4).

"I thought that our girls played a good game, overall," Boonsboro coach John Burtner said. "Two bad minutes in a game ... that's all that it takes. You can't let up for two minutes. I was impressed with Smithsburg's hustle to the ball. They get to the ball whenever it is loose. Smithsburg had some good first touches."

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