Leopards return to Class 1A West final

November 06, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Leopards are the calendar girls of Maryland Class 1A West soccer.

The Miss Novembers shut out Northern Garrett 3-0 in the region semifinals Friday night and are one victory away from their fourth straight 1A West title. Smithsburg (12-4) will host Williamsport (9-7-1) in the final Tuesday night, beginning at 7.

"That's our season. We play all season for a chance to play in the region final," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "We've instilled this into our players. They expect to be in this situation. They work hard for this every day."

It's hard to believe the Leopards were 0-3 in early September. But since then, they've won 12 of 13 games, including their last 10, and have not allowed a goal in their last five.


"We knew it was just a matter of time," Fowkes said.

Smithsburg didn't waste much time early against Northern Garrett (9-5-1).

Shannon Fowkes connected off a corner kick from Cara Jordan in the 14th minute to put the Leopards ahead for good. In the 29th minute, Shelby Layman scored on a pass from Fowkes to give Smithsburg a 2-0 halftime lead.

"Once we get one in, it just give us more confidence. One and keep it going," Shannon Fowkes said. "That's been working for us a lot lately, getting a good start. Then we just come out fired up in the second half."

Katie Seifarth completed the scoring in the 71st minute on a breakaway, set up by a pass from Erin Bergstrom.

The Huskies were lucky their deficit wasn't larger. Nearly the entire game was played in their half of the field and they were outshot, 27-3.

"Shannon and Cara did an awesome job of controlling the midfield," Bill Fowkes said. "We just had some trouble finishing tonight. We sure had a lot of opportunities."

Smithsburg keeper Candace Stanford had two saves. Kayla Kipp and Kasie Fratz combined for 15 saves for Northern Garrett.

The Herald-Mail Articles