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Hubs keep Antietam title for themselves

October 26, 2006|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

No. 1 North Hagerstown completed a perfect regular season by clinching the MVAL Antietam girls soccer championship with a 2-0 victory over No. 3 Smithsburg on Wednesday.

"The girls told me in practice last night that they didn't want to share the title," Hubs coach Rick Aleshire said. "They said they wanted to win it right out. I don't think we brought our 'A' game. But I think we played well."

It was the third time in four years that the Hubs have earned either sole possession or a share of the Antietam title. North (15-0, 7-0) finished one game ahead of Boonsboro (10-3, 6-1) in the conference standings.

North (12-3, 5-2) got on the scoreboard three minutes into the game on Maria Borland's score from the right side on an assist by Allie Snyder.

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"I thought the first goal scored was the deciding factor," Aleshire said. "I knew that if we jumped on them early, we would have the upper hand. We have some technical players that can play in the middle and we have some technical players that can play on top. We know we can do the job on defense. We have given up only seven goals all year."

The Hubs made it 2-0 in the 69th minute when Courtney Whorten scored from the right side on an assist by Tia Scott.

Freshman Lindsay Irving made three saves in the first half, while sophomore Caroline Kreiger made four in the second half for the Hubs.

"Our defense did very well today," Irving said. "It definitely felt very good to shut down Smithsburg's offense, because they have a very good offense. It was a challenge to me. I just did my thing and I did what I could for my team."

"I like playing good teams like that and I like having a good challenge like that," Irving said. "But I definitely wouldn't be able to do it without my defense and the rest of my team."

Kreiger was glad to return after three weeks with mononucleosis.

"It is just really exciting," Kreiger said. "I was real nervous. As soon as Courtney scored our team's second goal, I was good to go. My defense deserves all of the credit. They did all of the work. Everyone wanted the victory, so everyone stepped it up today."

Both teams finished with eight shots on goal.

"I thought it was a great soccer game today," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "Both teams played extremely well. We were unable to find the back of the net, while North did. I think that both teams are ready to make a long run during the playoffs. I think our defense did a tremendous job containing their speed."

The Hubs are the top seed in Maryland Class 2A West, and the Leopards are the top seed in Class 1A West. Both teams received byes in the opening round and will start postseason play next week.

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