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Knights bounce by Hubs

October 31, 2004|by RYAN ALLEN/Staff Writer

North Hagerstown coach Glen Singer said Saturday afternoon's Maryland Class 2A West Region playoff loss at School Stadium was indicative of his team's season.

With the score tied 1-1 midway through the second half, Middletown's Tyler Weller launched a long-range shot that got just past the reach of North's diving goalkeeper, Brian Williamson, and hit the right goalpost.

The ball deflected sideways off the post across the front of the goal and right to reserve forward Tino Mozzano, who put the ball into the net for the decisive goal and a 2-1 Middletown victory.

"If that ball is six inches to the left, Brian stops it, and if it's six inches to the right, it goes out of bounds," said Singer. "That seems to be the way our season went ... a lot of bad bounces."

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The Knights advanced to a quarterfinal matchup at Rockville on Monday night.

Much of the second half was played in North territory, as Middletown used a strong prevailing wind to its advantage.

"The weather played a big role in the game," said Middletown coach Bob Sheffler. "The wind gave us a push in the second half, whereas in the first half we were unable to control the ball going into it."

Sheffler said he thought the long shot by Weller that led to Mozzano's goal fooled Williamson because the wind carried the ball.

The Hubs generated few scoring pushes in the second half.

"The wind kept us from moving upfield and put us under a lot of pressure," said Singer.

The Knights took a 1-0 lead early in the game when Kenneth Vandre scored on a header from Ben McMunn's corner kick two minutes in.

A minute earlier, it appeared North would score the game's initial goal, but Middletown goalkeeper Ben Hayes made a save on a point-blank shot by North's Ben Crampton.

The Hubs evened the score late in the half when Brennan Smith, after a scramble in front of the Middletown goal, fired a shot past Hayes and into the right side of the net.

The Hubs finished with only four shots on goal while the Knights peppered 10 shots on Williamson, who made eight saves.

"They were a little faster to the ball," Singer said. "I can't fault my guys, though. They gave 100 percent."

Sheffler does not expect the road to get any easier for the Knights.

"We're looking at an excellent Rockville team," he said. "Looking ahead, no matter where you look, you see trouble."

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