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Washington Co. evens the score in all-star game

November 17, 2005|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Washington County made history Wednesday night at the fourth annual Four Diamonds Senior All-Star Game.

It didn't lose.

The Herald-Mail's All-Washington County team - which lost the first three meetings with the Public Opinion's Pennsylvania all-stars by a combined 6-1 - came away with a 1-1 tie at Waynesboro High School's Rip Engle Stadium.

It was likely the last opportunity for the area's best seniors to showcase their soccer skills.

"You never want to end a game with a tie, but it's better than losing," said Washington County coach Glen Singer. "The boys had fun and it was for a good cause, so I can't complain.

"But maybe next year we'll win."

Washington County came close to stealing the victory with 15 minutes remaining in the game. Steve Lee of St. James created a one-on-one matchup with McConnellsburg goalkeeper Jesse Richards. Lee put a solid boot behind the ball, but it deflected off the bottom half of the crossbar to keep the score tied.

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"I was thinking, 'Oh yes, we finally might win,'" Lee said.

The Public Opinion stars had opportunities and near misses as well. Three minutes into the second half, Chambersburg's Justin Flory watched as his shot bounced off the right goalpost. Two minutes later, Waynesboro's Nik Gribbon had the same luck, bouncing the ball off the left post. Later in the half, a wide open shot by Shippensburg's Dan Brubaker was pushed just right of the goal.

"I was ready for a couple of them to go in for us and for them," Singer said. "Both teams created some chances, which is usually what you're going to get in an exhibition game like this."

The only opportunities that were capitalized on happened in the first 10 minutes of action. Lee opened the scoring in the second minute when he took a pass from Boonsboro's Tyler McKenrick on the right side and crossed it past Waynesboro goalie Zach Settlage.

"There was a pass on the other side of the field, so I ran to the opposite post and called for the ball," Lee said. "I saw the goalie rushing toward me, so I kicked it to the other side."

Pennsylvania evened the match in the 10th minute on a corner kick by Brubaker. Flory gained control of the ball on the left side of the goal and fired to the right corner to tie the game at 1-1, which turned out to be the final score after it was decided that an overtime period would not be played.

Neither of the teams had a chance to practice together, which made for an interesting goal-to-goal match. Public Opinion coach Greg Best was only able to talk with his players before the match.

"It was such a pleasure to coach a group of guys who know how to play the game," Best said. "It was fun to be able to stand back and watch a great group just play."

Proceeds from the game totaled $772 and will be donated to the Hershey, Pa.-based Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Fund.

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