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South rises again to knock off Hubs

October 28, 2004|by CHRIS CARTER/Staff Correspondent

For Jimmy Sweeney, David West and the rest of the South Hagerstown boys soccer team, what happened Wednesday night at School Stadium couldn't come at a better time.

West and Sweeney both scored goals - Sweeney's was the game-winner and first of his career - and the Rebels beat North Hagerstown 2-1 for the first time since 2001.

"We beat (North) in my freshman year but we hadn't won since," West said. "It always feels good to win, but it feels even better when its against them."

West gave South (5-8-1, 2-4-1 MVAL Antietam) an early lead just eight minutes into the game on a follow-up shot. After Sean Marriner's shot hit the right goal post, West was there to clean up the rebound to give the Rebels a 1-0 advantage.

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"I saw (North goalkeeper Brian Williamson) wasn't going for the ball so I just came in and got it," West said.

North (6-6-1, 4-2-1) got even in the 15th minute when Patrick Smith sent a penalty kick past Rebels goalie Stephen Ampadu to tie the game, 1-1.

It wasn't long before the Rebels were in the net again, this time on the foot of Sweeney. West started the sequence on a restart near midfield.

After battling for the ball at North's goal, Marriner settled the ball for a shot, only to be blocked by Williamson. The ball bounced out of Williamson's grasp over to Sweeney, who lifted it over Williamson's head to give the Rebels the 2-1 lead in the 25th minute.

"I saw it ricochet off the goalie so I just flicked it over his head," Sweeney said. "It was a good feeling that my first goal won the game against North."

The Hubs had several opportunities to retaliate and outshot the Rebels 13-5 in the second half, but never managed to get back on the board.

"After halftime we switched from an attack mode to more of a defense mode," South coach Jim Mills said. "We knew they didn't want to lose to us and that they'd come out shooting."

"We've had trouble all year trying to put the ball in the back of the net," North coach Glen Singer said. "We had a lot of chances and a lot of shots, but just couldn't get in."

North will look to get back on track when it hosts Middletown in the first round of the Maryland 2A West playoffs Saturday at noon. The Rebels have a first-round bye and will have five days to prepare for its quarterfinal showdown with Walkersville on Tuesday at 6.

n In the girls game, the Hubs enjoyed a 34-2 shot advantage and easily defeated South 6-0 to salvage a city soccer split.

Kelsey Brasher led the attack with two goals, while Lauren O'Boyle, Hillary Grove, Courtney Whorton and Tia Scott each had one.

"It was pretty much what I expected out of this game," North coach Rick Aleshire said. "I thought (South) played good, better than the past couple of years, but this was a fun game for the girls to play."

The win gave the Hubs (12-3) a share of the Antietam Conference title with Smithsburg and Catoctin.

"Last year we won the conference, so we were trying to defend it this year," Aleshire said. "We gave a piece of it up, but we didn't give it all up and we'll take that."

Rebels coach Bruce Buhrman praised his team, but thinks it can improve.

"We've played better than we played tonight," he said. "We played a tough game against Walkersville earlier this week, but tonight they were the better team and a lot of things didn't go our way. The soccer gods weren't with us tonight."

South (2-11-1) will take on Fort Hill in first-round action of the 2A West playoffs Saturday at 8. North has a first-round bye.

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