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Hensley's efforts help lift Warriors

October 20, 2006|by ANDREW MASON and DAN KAUFFMAN

Boonsboro sophomore forward Lauren Hensley has scored a Washington County-high 20 goals this season, making it hard to believe she spent most of last season on the JV team.

"She's played really well lately, and her teammates are setting her up for some nice goals," Boonsboro second-year coach Kyle Lingg said. "We really work hard in letting our strikers be creative, and she's producing. That's for sure."

Hensley's emergence this fall has paralleled the Warriors'.

Boonsboro (9-3, 6-1 MVAL Antietam) opened this season with a 4-0 loss to Smithsburg in the county tournament.

On Monday, Hensley had two goals and an assist as the Warriors overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge the reigning Maryland Class 1A state-champion Leopards, 3-2.

"We've come a long way," Lingg said. "That first game served as a nice wake-up call. Since then, we've improved every game."

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On Wednesday, Hensley had two goals as the Warriors beat Williamsport 3-1 to avenge another September loss.

"The last two games, you could tell she was a marked player, and she overcame that extra defense and produced," Lingg said. "She stepped it up.

"Those were two big rivalry games. The intensity of those games can't be matched."

While Lingg said the victory over Smithsburg was the biggest win of his career, he might need an even bigger one over the Leopards to get back to the West region finals.

Lingg's projection has Smithsburg - which beat the Warriors 2-1 last year for its fifth straight region title - and Boonsboro as the region's second and third seeds behind Northern Garrett. That means the two county rivals would be on the same side of the bracket, which will be released Monday.

"You never know. That's just my projection. It's still up in the air," Lingg said. "We're still hoping we can match up with Smithsburg again in the final."

Trojans turn it around

Three years ago, Chambersburg's boys soccer team won only one match during a difficult 1-15-1 season.

Two years ago, a 4-11-3 campaign did little to soothe the Trojans - though a 3-0 victory over then-undefeated and No. 1-ranked Martinsburg that season helped.

A more respectable 8-7-4 record last year indicated big things were on the horizon for Chambersburg, and the Trojans have enjoyed rare success this season in the difficult Mid-Penn Commonwealth.

"We stack up pretty good for the history of Chambersburg," said head coach Steve Grove, whose Trojans finished the regular season 10-3-3 and in second place in the Commonwealth.

"The current juniors and seniors actually played as freshmen when we were taking our lumps. We knew in the long term, we had kids who were gaining valuable experience and learning that they would have to learn a different way of playing the game. We're just now reaping those benefits."

It's taken a total team effort for Chambersburg to turn its fortunes around, and it starts on the Trojans' back line, where senior Eddie Olson and juniors Trent Olson and Alex Swartz have held opponents to 15 goals - less than one per game.

"Our biggest ongoing theme for our backs is to put up the goose egg and play with some pride," Grove said. "One of our games was a four-goal game, so you take that away and you realize how good our defense is. Trent is probably one of the quickest players on the field."

Offensively, the Trojans get it done with a team-first concept in which everyone pitches in. Kevin Cramer leads the team with six goals, Corey Grove has five, Jorge Jimenez four, Marcos Gamboa three and Mike Over, Nate Over, Andrew Collier and Sean Collier each have two.

It's the Trojans' ability to change their style on the fly that has Steve Grove excited for district play, which begins next week.

"There are two prongs to the Commonwealth, one is the beautiful game of possession - one-touch and two-touch soccer - and the other prong is a very physical style. You have to learn how to play physical and get your shoulder in. Usually, the team you're playing dictates the style you're playing.

"It took about two years get our kids to understand you can't play the same way all the time. Sometimes, you can play the finesse game, and sometimes they take away the midfield and you have to play the long ball. We challenge them as a coaching staff to think about the game and game management."

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