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Soccer notes

County tournament finals on tap Saturday

County tournament finals on tap Saturday

September 23, 2005|by ANDREW MASON and DAN KAUFFMAN

andrewm@herald-mail.com

kauffman@herald-mail.com

The No. 1 North Hagerstown and No. 3 Boonsboro girls soccer teams both hope to make deep runs in the postseason this fall.

Some of the momentum they'll need is at stake Saturday when the Hubs (4-1) and Warriors (4-0) meet for the second straight year in the finals of the Washington County Tournament at School Stadium. Game time is 11 a.m.

"This is very important because it will set the tone for the games that follow," first-year Boonsboro coach Kyle Lingg said.

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North, which beat Boonsboro 4-2 in last year's final, will be playing for its third county title in the last four years. In 2003, the Hubs lost to Smithsburg in the final.

North coach Rick Aleshire said the county tournament is just one of many stepping stones.

"We're not going to put a lot of importance on it," he said Wednesday night. "We'd like to win it, but we want to stay healthy and make a run at the conference championship and then get regionals. But I'm not saying it's not important because it is."

North features senior forward Kelsey Brasher and junior defender Cara Thompson, both two-time All-Area first-teamers.

Aleshire said being the defending champ shouldn't add much pressure.

"I don't think so," he said, "because most of the team's been there since they were sophomores and Kelsey Brasher's been there since she's been a freshman."

Of course, being the defending champ puts a target on North's back.

"Boonsboro's going to be hungry because they were there last year, and we beat them," Aleshire said. "They'd like nothing more than to come there and beat us."

The Warriors are led by senior Sarah Keyser, an All-Area first-team midfielder last season, and sophomore Katie Reese, who has a team-high seven goals this season.

While Lingg is new to the Boonsboro girls team, he's no stranger to the county finals. Last year he was an assistant coach for the Boonsboro boys team, which beat Williamsport for the title.

"It feels good to come out on top of the county and prove that Boonsboro is there and will be there throughout the season," Lingg said.

The Warriors have a lot to prove to the Hubs.

"North's at No. 1," Lingg said. "It's exciting to play the team to beat."

- The boys championship game, scheduled for 1 p.m., is also a rematch from last year, when Boonsboro upended Williamsport, 4-2.

The No. 3 Warriors (4-0) have outscored their four opponents, 23-4. Tyler McKenrick has eight goals, Mark Connelly has four and Ryan Alick three, giving Boonsboro numerous attacking options to throw at the No. 5 Wildcats (2-1). Still, Williamsport coach Carlos Reyes is confident his team can get the job done defensively.

"My four backs, they're pretty solid right now," Reyes said. "My middle I can trust to come back. We'll have to counterattack. My offensive players are faster then their defenders, I know that."

When the Wildcats do make their push forward, it's a near-certainty Phil Jordan will be front and center. The senior scored five of Williamsport's seven total goals through the first three games.

"He's got everything a good player can have - the speed, the skills, a good shot," Reyes said. "That's how we use him. He's a leader, I put a lot of pressure on him, he knows it, and I think he can deal with it."

Williamsport will need to provide offensive support for Jordan - support that came in the way of goals by Charlie Spoonire and Derek Hadley in a 3-1 victory over Smithsburg in the first round.

"I'd say we're still working on finishing," Reyes said. "We're very good defensively, our midfield is working fine, we need to work little more on finishing."

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