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St. James hops to it in sweep

April 08, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER

SMITHSBURG - The St. James boys lacrosse team asserted itself as the best team in Washington County at Smithsburg's Easter Invitational Games on Saturday.

Eleven different players scored as the Saints topped Smithsburg and North Hagerstown by a combined score of 24-3. Century joined St. James with a 2-0 mark for the day.

"We played very well," said Saints coach Paul Salit. "I was very pleased to have all the different guys score goals. It was good to get a lot of guys in the game."

St. James opened the day with a 10-2 victory over Smithsburg. Century followed with a 19-0 thumping of North Hagerstown and a 9-4 victory over the Leopards before the Saints capped the mixer with a 14-1 win against the Hubs.

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Henry Warner led the Saints with four goals in the opening win over Smithsburg. Jordan Barr scored twice and P.J. Mara, Spencer Manning, Troy Gogoll and Bennett Opitz each added a goal. Cyrus Morgan had three assists and Warner had one.

The Saints scored nine goals in the second half to pull away from a fiery North Hagerstown team in the fourth and final game. Mara and Gogoll each had three goals, while Manning, Barr, Warner, Morgan, Colon Stoecker, David Cook, Hunter Lind and Luke Salisbury each scored once. Morgan had two assists.

"We want to play with the ball in the air," Salit said. "When we can do that and be on offense, it's obviously a good thing."

Saints goalie Nick Beardsley saved five of seven shots against Smithsburg and backup Bryan Hummel-Price saved three of four against North. Dan Rinebolt and Craig Trueblood each scored for the Leopards and Kalvin Day scored for the Hubs.

"We have a really good defense and good keepers," Salit said. "We played 100 minutes of lacrosse and only gave up three goals, so I was especially happy with that."

Each game was played with 25-minute halves and a running clock.

n Smithsburg was forced to fall back on defense almost exclusively against Century and the Leopards were outshot 23-9. T.J. Willoughby scored 5 1/2 minutes into the game and Cameren Warrell scored twice to put the Knights up 3-0.

Smithsburg got on the board with less than a minute left before halftime when Kyle Ritchie assisted a goal by Brendan Roberts. The Leopards remained within reach after Justin Hovermale's goal with 17 minutes left pulled the score to 5-2, but Century answered with three straight goals - two more by Warrell and another by Willoughby - in a two-minute span to up the lead to 8-2.

Warrell finished the game with five goals and Nic Loftice added two.

"Faceoffs hurt us in both games because they were controlling the ball from the start a lot and we have to get better," said Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich. "It's something we have to do better."

Roberts and Josh Ritchie each scored in the final minute to cut the score to 9-4, but it was too little, too late. Nick Hoban had 13 saves and finished with 21 on the day.

n North was blanked for the first time this season when it lined up against Century. The Hubs never threatened as the Knights poured in 19 goals from 12 players. Brent Mercer led the way with five goals, Keegan Malat scored three, T.J. Denney had two and Warrell, Willoughby, Loftice Dan Alderman, Ryan Pentz, Kyle Benitez, Cory Anderlik, Joey Brandt and Chris Davis each scored once.

"The team played with a lot of heart and a lot of intensity," said North first-year coach Richard Pryzwarty. "And we played lacrosse. It wasn't just a lot of guys running around and hitting each other.

"This program is moving in the right direction."

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