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Hubs sweep Leopards

September 25, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

When it comes to the Washington County Tournament, the North Hagerstown girls soccer team has Smithsburg's number.

No. 2 North won its third straight county title Saturday night by knocking off No. 1 Smithsburg 3-1 at School Stadium.

"It's bragging rights for the girls," North coach Rick Aleshire said. "This is the third year in a row for them and they don't want to give it up."

In the boys final, the Hubs beat Smithsburg 3-0 in penalty kicks - to settle a 1-1 tie after regulation - for their third title in five years after.

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Twin sisters Maria and Stephanie Borland each scored a second-half goal to help North snap Smithsburg's 19-match winning streak, which began after a loss to the Hubs in the 2005 county semifinals.

Maria Borland scored in the 64th minute on an assist from Tia Scott and Stephanie Borland followed with an unassisted goal to in the 74th minute to lift the Hubs.

"It's going to be hard for any team to stop the Borlands," said Aleshire. "One of the reasons that makes them so good is the other girls know how to get it to them, and they make the play."

Maria Borland's goal came after a restart. Courtney Whorten began with a pass to Stephanie Borland, who found Scott alone on the right side. Scott crossed a pass in front of the goal where Maria Borland headed it past Smithsburg goalie Kirsten Cacciola to give North a 2-1 lead.

Ten minutes later, Stephanie Borland squirted through the Smithsburg defense on a fast break and had Cacciola isolated before booting it past her for a 3-1 advantage.

"We talked at halftime and said that whoever made fewer mistakes would win the game," said Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes. "We made the mistakes, and they punished us."

Smithsburg struck first in the 26th minute when Katie Seifarth gained control of a direct kick and slipped it to the left of Hubs goalie Caroline Kreiger for a 1-0 lead.

North responded in the 28th minute when Stephanie Borland crossed a pass to Courtney Whorten, who scored her eighth goal of the season.

"That's what you have to do, you've got to come right back," Aleshire said. "The first five minutes after a goal are when you're most vulnerable. Courtney Whorten got a nice pass from (Stephanie Borland) and put it in."

In the boys final, North got a late boost from a Smithsburg player to force a penalty shootout, which the Hubs dominated 3-0 to win the county title and avenge Thursday's 2-0 regular-season loss to the Leopards.

With about two minutes remaining in regulation, Matt Unger took a shot that Leopards goalie Jake Staebler had committed to. But Smithsburg's Ryan Keller inadvertently redirected the shot and Staebler had no time to react as it rolled into the goal to knot the game at 1-1.

Keller had saved a goal moments earlier by booting the ball out of bounds, but after watching the tying goal go in, he fell to the ground in disbelief.

Joe House, Michael Baer and Ben Cramption scored on penalty kicks to clinch it for the Hubs. Smithsburg was shutout in the shootout after having two shots go off the crossbar and another go wide right.

"That's a real good example of why we didn't win," said Smithsburg coach Paul Newman. "We lost our composure at the end (of regulation) and in the shootout. We tried to force things."

The game was scoreless at halftime. Smithsburg's Josh Edwards broke the tie when he took a long pass from Mark Vomend up the right seam, beat a defender and sent it into the net for a 1-0 lead.

The Leopards seemed poise to hold off the Hubs for the championship until the unusual play in the 78th minute.

"We just kept the pressure on them," said North coach Glen Singer. "We talked all week that we have to get more shots, get more shots and we just kept at them. But the way it happened was unfortunate."

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