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Smith's added confidence finishes equation for Indians

September 26, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Waynesboro freshman Jacob Smith has more than enough talent to be an integral part of the Indians' varsity boys soccer team. Yet his confidence had been shaken enough recently, that coach Doug Beckner gave him some time on the JV team to try to restore it.

Confidence may no longer be an issue for Smith - or for that matter, the Indians.

Smith was the man in the middle for Waynesboro, and he left his mark against James Buchanan, scoring twice in a 25-second span late in the first half and finishing a hat trick with a third goal in the second half to lead the Indians to a 3-1 victory over the Rockets.

"(Playing with the JV team) helped my confidence go up a lot," said Smith. "That first goal helped it a lot, too."

"The big thing was we needed a confidence boost," Beckner said. "We'd only scored four goals all season, and we needed to put pressure on somebody and get a boost. Jake definitely gave us that tonight. He needed that boost as a ninth-grader."

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James Buchanan (3-5) struck first in the sixth minute when Dion Lehman made a blistering run up the left sideline and found Zach Bachtell running up the left seam. Bachtell slotted a low shot past Waynesboro keeper Michael Mowen for the 1-0 lead.

"I was impressed. I thought we played well the first 30 minutes," Rockets coach Mike Dent said. "We got a goal and had several other opportunities. Then we had a lapse in concentration and we sort of forgot our assignment on (midfielder Chris Arendt) in the middle of the field. That's a breakdown that can be prevented."

Early in the 31st minute, Arendt got loose in the middle and lofted a pass down the left side that just got past a Rockets defender and settled on Smith's right foot. He chipped a shot over keeper James Nardi and into the right side of the goal to tie the game.

After the restart, Taylor Jordan sent another ball forward, and a Rockets defender slipped, allowing Smith to get in alone and easily score for a 2-1 lead.

Waynesboro (3-4) put the game away in the 56th minute when Cody Jones' pass found Smith in the middle. He made a good first touch to set up his second successful chip shot, this one to the left side of the goal to complete the hat trick.

Mowen kept the Rockets off the scoreboard after the early goal, making two splendid saves - a diving effort to his left in the 36th minute to stop Kris Potter's laser destined for the net just inside the right post, and a sprawling kick-save on Lehman from point-blank range at the left post in the 67th minute.

"He's been doing a heck of a job and not getting a lot of credit for it because we've been terrible against set pieces," Beckner said. "We needed this game after two close 1-0 losses to Northern and Shippensburg."

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