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Williamsport gives Boonsboro's boys first loss

November 05, 2005|By BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - While the Williamsport soccer team took a victory lap Friday, Derek Hadley limped noticeably behind the pack.

That's OK though. The Wildcats were able to celebrate because Hadley was leading the pack when it counted most.

Hadley mustered up every last ounce of determination to take a long, lofted pass from Matt Oliver and beat Boonsboro's defense to score the winning goal in the final two minutes of the first overtime to give the Wildcats a 2-1 victory over the top-seeded Warriors in the Maryland Class 1A West boys soccer semifinals.

Hadley, who was knocked to the ground twice on shots in overtime, dragged his heavily braced leg with a burst of speed down the middle of the field to hand Boonsboro (14-1-1) its first and only loss of the season.

"I've had injuries all season. I guess I'm not the type to let them heal," Hadley said. "It was all just intensity. I've waited too long for this and I refused to give up. We worked too hard and come too far this season to give up."

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Williamsport, which will travel to Beall on Tuesday to play for the 1A West title, fell behind 1-0 on Tyler McKenrick's goal in the 50th minute.

But Oliver countered in the 57th minute with a score from in front of the goal while falling down to tie the game at 1-1.

The two teams locked in end-to-end action in the overtime with each having a chance to end the game quickly, only to be thwarted by great stops by Boonsboro keeper Evan Lowery and Williamsport goalie Sony Hines.

Williamsport's break came when Oliver settled the ball at midfield and lofted his pass over the top of the defense. Like a wide receiver, Hadley got a step on the defense, collected the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and put it in the left side of the goal for the winner.

"The breakaway was a two-on-one and our guy can't cover both of them," Boonsboro coach Brad Distad said. "We had a defensive breakdown. (Williamsport) came out with intensity in the final 20 minutes of regulation and in the overtime. We got knocked out of our game and they played a great game."

Hadley had two prime shots in the opening moments of overtime, but Lowery was equal to the test. On both, Hadley hit the ground and fought to his feet to keep in play.

"Hadley has been hurt and has only played three of our last five games," Williamsport coach Carlos Reyes said. "He told me that unless he had a broken bone, he was going to play this game. I tried to get him out, but he stayed out there. He is all heart. I wish everyone had the heart that he has."

Williamsport seemed on the way to a fourth loss against Boonsboro until Oliver scored his goal. He had just entered the game, replacing Phillip Jordan, who had received a yellow card. The Wildcats were able to work the ball to Oliver in the middle, who was all but prone on the field.

"In the second half, we made some changes to get some pressure," Reyes said. "I keep telling them that a counterattack is going to happen sooner or later. (Boonsboro) got theirs early in the overtime and it was scary. We were beaten three times by Boonsboro, but I was positive that if we kept working, something positive would happen."

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