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Leopards overpower Hubs in sweep

April 12, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

SMITHSBURG - North Hagerstown scored an early goal to take a 1-0 lead over Smithsburg in its girls lacrosse game, the opening match of a boys-girls doubleheader Tuesday night.

The goal, scored by Becky Barnhart, was the only time North Hagerstown sniffed at a lead in either contest as the Leopards waltzed to an 18-9 victory, followed by the Smithsburg boys' 19-1 romp over North in the nightcap.

Just 24 seconds into the contest, Barnhart scampered past midfield untouched before launching a successful shot, the first of six she would score.

Smithsburg (3-3) answered with eight unanswered goals.

Quinn Pangborn tied the game 1-1 with a close-in shot from the middle on an assist by Kristi Schellenberg. Amber Ford scored twice in succession with interceptions inside the North box for a 3-1 lead and the Leopards were rolling.

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"(Ford) has excellent field presence," said Smithsburg coach Nancy Bates of Ford's quick reaction to steal passes from North goalie Ashley Farero.

North didn't fold its tent easily, keeping the deficit at 11-5 at halftime, thanks to two more goals by Barnhart. By halftime, North had attempted only seven shots with a high rate of success.

However, Meghan Thompson knocked in three goals in the second half and Smithsburg found the nets for five unanswered goals that put the Hubs away.

"We expect to come out and win," said Bates. "Our speed was a difference tonight, but we lacked some ball control. We still need to work on our passing game."

Ford, Thompson and Quinn Pangborn had three goals each for Smithsburg, which outshot North, 31-14.

"We know we're building a program," said North coach Carol Kreyken Bohm-Barnhart. "We have several goals and the first is to keep improving. (The girls) don't quit. We're building for the future."

n Less than one minute into the opening period of the boys clash, Brad Schaeffer raced down the right sideline, curled to the inside and whisked a shot past North goalie Matt Amalfitano.

Smithsburg (4-3) proceeded to an 8-0 lead after the first period on a three-goal performance each by Schaeffer and Kevan Schellenberg.

The Leopards demonstrated quickness controlling ground balls and a superior throw-and-catch ability that left North (0-4) on its heels.

"We were on the short end of ground balls and clears," said North coach Jeff Hartman. "We had a breakdown in fundamentals. Smithsburg is a very good club."

"We got the ground balls and we continued to get our shots on goal," said veteran Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich. "We're still not finishing well, but we've got the experience and we'll continue to attack."

Smithsburg blitzed North with 40 shots. Schaeffer finished with five goals, Schellenberg had four and Josh Ritchey had three. Matt Thompson, one of seven Leopards to score a single goal, also had three assists.

Hartman said he hopes that a youth feeder program in Hagerstown will eventually pay dividends to match a Smithsburg program that has been successful for years.

"Hopefully the youth program will stay intact," said Hartman, in his first year. "We're senior-loaded this year so next year will be a challenge. To see this through will take some time."

Down 12-0 after Josh Ritchey's second goal of the third period, North (0-4) got on the scoreboard when Andrew Stark knocked in a bouncer past Leopards goalie Matt Leenay.

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