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Soccer notes

Knights coach Kline isn't panicking just yet

Knights coach Kline isn't panicking just yet

September 30, 2005|by ANDREW MASON and DAN KAUFFMAN

andrewm@herald-mail.com

kauffman@herald-mail.com

If anyone should know not to panic about the Middletown girls soccer team's slow start, it's Middletown.

Through Wednesday, the reigning Maryland Class 2A state champion Knights, who opened the season with three straight losses, were 2-4-1.

On this date last year, the Middletown girls were 4-2, before dropping five of their first six matches in October to fall to 5-7. But the Knights did not lose again, ending their season on an eight-match winning streak.

"I think anything is still possible this year," Middletown coach Heather Kline said. "It's just going to depend on how hard we work in the coming weeks. It'll come. We have to keep believing that."

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Still, the slow start has been unexpected. The Knights have seven returning starters from last year, including 2004 Herald-Mail All-Area first-team midfielder Meagan Sheffler and second-team forward Whitney Boyer.

"We're more talented this year than we were last year. Unfortunately, that doesn't always mean the same thing," Kline said. "We've been playing really well, but we just haven't been able to find the back of the net. Scoring was an issue for us last year, too. We're hoping with time, we can figure it out."

Through seven games, the Knights have only allowed seven goals. But they only have scored six goals, and half of them came in a 3-1 victory over Winters Mill on Tuesday. Sheffler leads the team with three goals.

The Knights have been shut out three times, including a 1-0 overtime loss to No. 1 Tuscarora, last year's Maryland Class 1A state champ which Kline said is "better than they were last year."

"Throughout our season, we play really strong teams," she said. "We had somewhat of a disappointing start in that the first couple of games we should have won, but we didn't. But the other teams played really hard."

Being the defending state champ has put a target on Middletown's back.

"There's some pressure there, not necessarily internal but from the outside," Kline said. "But we're a very laid-back team and we just keep looking to the future. We just have to come into ourselves."

n Three boys players, in three counties, in three states, all have this much in common - they're all lighting up area scoreboards at dizzying rates.

Meet three top contenders for Herald-Mail Player of the Year honors - Boonsboro's Tyler McKenrick, Greencastle's Treavor Gelsinger and Martinsburg's Trent Reid.

McKenrick, whose small stature belies his aggressive nature - especially when there's a loose ball to be had near the opposing team's goal - scored in each of the No. 1 Warriors' six victories through Wednesday, and has three hat tricks and 10 goals in his last three games, including seven goals in two games against No. 9 Williamsport in the past six days.

"He has a passion for the game you rarely see in a player," Boonsboro coach Brad Distad said following Saturday's victory over the Wildcats in the Washington County Tournament championship game. "He works hard, has a great attitude and never quits."

Gelsinger has 11 goals and 14 assists in 10 games for the No. 2 Blue Devils. He has four multi-goal games (in three of them, he also had multiple assists), and had four assists in another Greencastle victory.

In a four-game stretch over an eight-day span in early September, Reid scored 12 goals for the No. 3 Bulldogs as they outscored Musselman, Berkeley Springs, Jefferson and Hampshire by a combined 24-3. Reid also had a hat trick in Martinsburg's 3-1 victory over Morgantown on Sept. 17, and has an area-best 23 goals this season.

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