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Smithsburg's defense does the work

September 10, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING - Maybe Smithsburg goalie Kirsten Cacciola should have packed along some reading material when she took the field against Clear Spring on Saturday.

After all, Cacciola had very little else to do while she stood in goal for the Leopards in the first half of their Washington County Girls Soccer Tournament semifinal.

While continually turning away the Blazers in the first half, Smithsburg scored three times and added a fourth goal in the second half for a 4-0 win to advance to the tournament final against North Hagerstown on Sept. 23 at School Stadium.

The Leopards (2-0) held Clear Spring without a shot on goal in the first half and Cacciola touched the ball only three times. It was 25 minutes into the game before she first touched it.

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"One of the things we really stress is not conceding goals," said Smithsburg assistant coach Joe Burger, who filled in for head coach Bill Fowkes. "All in all, I was pleased, but it's still early."

Smithsburg's defense kept Clear Spring (1-1) between the 18-yard boxes for most of the half, setting the offense up with plenty of opportunities. The Leopards took 16 shots in the first half and cashed in on three of them - the first on a penalty kick by Shelby Layman just minutes into the game.

"You give up a penalty kick in the first three minutes and it takes you out of your game," said Clear Spring coach Jeff Semler. "We never really recovered from it."

Smithsburg made it even harder for the Blazers to recoup when it scored back-to-back goals in less than a two-minute span. Mia Doyle created a 1-on-1 opportunity with Clear Spring goalie Beth Andrews in the 26th minute. She dribbled up the right seam and booted the ball just off the fingertips of the outstretched Andrews for a 2-0 lead in the 26th minute.

Katie Seifarth scored the third Leopards goal when the ball hit the right goal post and bounced off Andrews' back for a 3-0 advantage.

Andrews saved the Blazers from further damage with her 16 saves.

Clear Spring finally broke through the Smithsburg defense in the second half and got off 10 shots, but none found the net.

Lauren Donley scored the final Leopards goal midway through the second half.

Courtney Whorten scored two goals to lead the Hubs past Williamsport 4-0 in the other semifinal.

Alluka Ogle-Moore and Hannah Barton each scored a goal for North (2-0). Barton, Jess Shuff and Katie Ritter each had an assist, while Caroline Kreiger made five saves for the shutout.

Boonsboro blanked South Hagerstown in the fifth-place game, 4-0.

Lauren Hensley scored twice for the Warriors, while Hannah Crosby amd Katie Reese each scored once. Reese, Hensley, Whitney Sheppard and Danyelle Fulks had assists.

Brittany Shadrach made 19 saves for the Rebels.

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