'Dogs look fetching in region sweep

October 27, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

INWOOD, W.Va. - Musselman High School doesn't have a scoreboard at its soccer field, and no one seemed to care Tuesday night.

The Martinsburg boys and girls teams were so dominant on the field that it would have been nearly impossible not to know which side was winning during the West Virginia Region II semifinal doubleheader.

Martinsburg routed Petersburg 8-0 in the boys game and blanked Frankfort 4-0 in the girls contest.

The Bulldogs will play for the region titles and trips to the state semifinals Thursday at Buckhannon Upshur. Each team will face either Elkins or Bridgeport.


· The boys game quickly turned into a laugher Tuesday.

"Our guys were having a good time tonight," Martinsburg coach Greg Miller said. "They worked hard for 10 minutes and then they started having fun."

After 10 minutes, the Bulldogs (19-1-1) led 2-0 on a pair of goals by Trent Reid. Martinsburg led 7-0 at halftime and was able to rest its starters in the second half.

"We weren't expecting a very competitive game, but we were expecting a game," said Nick Benavides, who led the Bulldogs with three goals and three assists. "We came out pretty strong, played some ball and scored some goals."

Keeping it going past this point, however, has been a tough trick for Martinsburg to turn. This will be the Bulldogs' fourth straight appearance in the region final, where their season has ended each of the last three years. At least Morgantown won't be their undoing this year.

"We lost to Morgantown three straight times, but now they're out of our region," Miller said. "A win Thursday and we're going to the final four. These guys can do it."

"This team has the ability to win states," Benavides said.

Adam Polinik and Will Rouse each had a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs on Tuesday. Kent LeMaster also had a goal, Reid added two assists and keeper Matt Martin made six saves for the shutout.

Martinsburg outshot Petersburg (11-8-1), 25-8.

· The Martinsburg girls (12-6-2) also took care of business in the first half, outshooting Frankfort (9-7-2) 14-0 while building a 3-0 halftime lead.

"I told the girls to play aggressive and take control from the start," Bulldogs coach Meredith Matczak said. "We came out strong and we came out quick."

Martinsburg went up 1-0 in the ninth minute when Rachel Park booted in Kristen Marshall's corner kick. The Vikings made it a 2-0 game in the 17th minute when one of their defenders misplayed the ball, kicking it into her own goal. Sara Orr rounded out the first-half scoring in the 30th minute on an assist from Marshall. Laurel Bobo's unassisted goal in the 65th minute made it 4-0.

Martinsburg finished with advantages of 21-5 in shots and 8-0 in corner kicks. Morgan Hunley made four saves for the shutout.

The Bulldogs, who won the region title in 2002, now are gunning for another trip to states.

"You hope and you dream and you set your goals early to be here," Matczak said. "You never know if it's going to work out, but sure enough it did. We're starting to peak at the right time."

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