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Baer comes up big to lift North

September 10, 2006|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Even though he is only 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds, sophomore Michael Baer turned out to be the big man on campus Saturday night.

Baer's hat trick led North Hagerstown to a 4-2 victory over Boonsboro and into the championship game of the Washington County Boys Soccer Tournament, to be played Sept. 23.

"I can't do it by myself," Baer said. "Everyone on my team helped me out. Our team has worked hard and practiced very hard over the summer. We are ready. It feels good to get to the county championship game."

After a scoreless first half, North Hagerstown (2-0) took the lead in the 44th minute when Baer scored on an assist by Ethan Unruh.

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Ben Crampton scored on an assist by Joe Dumpe in the 53rd minute. Baer scored his second goal on another assist by Unruh in the 59th minute to make it 3-0.

Boonsboro (1-2) reduced the deficit to 3-1 in the 64th minute on a goal by Keith Welch. Shane Lowery's header in the 68th minute made it 3-2.

"I'm exceptionally proud of my team for never giving up with a 3-0 deficit," Warriors coach Brad Distad said. "It was our third game in three days and it's hard to do that."

Baer scored his final goal on an assist by Derek Smith in the 79th minute to go to give the Hubs their final margin of victory.

In the other semifinal, Smithsburg and Clear Spring played to a scoreless tie before the Leopards got the best of the shootout, 3-0, to advance to the final against the Hubs.

Andy Fowkes, Ryan Keller and Jemery Kiel scored the shootout goals for Smithsburg. Jake Staebler made five saves in regulation.

"Neither team really was able to get it into the final third and play with quality from that point," Leopards coach Paul Newman said. "The defenses played well and the middle was clogged up. ... Clear Spring played with a lot of intensity. I was real impressed."

Blazers keeper Andrew Beadle made seven saves, including a fantastic one on Mark Vomend in the final five minutes of regulation.

"They could have battled all night long," Clear Spring coach Greg Hoff said. "It's just hard on them. It's hard to win a game like that, it's hard to lose a game like that. Both teams deserved to win."

Derek Wolfensberger, Michael Reyes and Jeff Ryan scored one goal each to help Williamsport (1-1) earn a 3-1 win over South Hagerstown (0-2) in the fifth-place game.

Jeff Haney, Justin Gardenhour and Levi Lankford each had an assist for the Wildcats.

Roland Wilson scored for the Rebels.

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