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Smithsburg uses fundamentals in sweep of Hubs

April 11, 2007|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

Smithsburg coach Pat Ford and North Hagerstown coach Sarah Mason both pointed to fundamentals after their girls lacrosse teams matched up Tuesday night at Mike Callas Stadium.

But the coaches spoke from opposite perspectives.

"We played aggressive, but what hurt us was fundamentals - catching, throwing and ground balls," Mason said. "But the thing is, those are things we're capable of doing well on other days."

Fortunately for the Leopards, they executed on this day and they rolled to a 12-2 win to make it a doubleheader sweep after the Smithsburg boys topped the Hubs 13-1 in the opening game.

"We focused a lot on the fundamentals," Ford said. "On our squad, ground balls and assists are every bit as important as goals. The key is that we have a lot of girls who are unselfish."

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The Leopards (3-2) had assists on eight of their 12 goals and five players scored two goals each. Often, the Leopards opted to make an extra pass to find a better look at the goal. Carly Jones had three assists and Cassie Petty, Amber Ford, Megan Jones, Rebekah Minneck and Megan Hann each had one.

"We've got a good team that's played with each other for a long time, so they know each other," Ford said. "We start it with the middle school program and keep the same strategies and try to keep the girls together through high school. They've been playing together for years before they even get here."

Amber Ford and Erin Mozingo each scored twice in the first half and Smithsburg led 6-0 at halftime. Monica Hovermale and Sabrina Madsen added two goals each in the second half as the Leopards extended their lead. Allyn Saling also finished with two goals, while Cassie Petty and Carly Jones each scored once.

"We have a lot of players that can score on offense, but our defense keeps us in games," Pat Ford said.

It was North goalie Neelam Patel that kept the Hubs (0-3) from a larger margin of defeat. Patel faced a steady attack from the Leopards, but remained stout and turned away 13 goals.

"She's played lacrosse for several years, but this is her first in the cage," Mason said. "She stepped it up. Sometimes it was when you least expected it."

Jessica Schlosser scored with 17 minutes left in the game to get the Hubs on the board and pull the game to 7-1. Smithsburg tacked on two more goals before Ellie Psillas scored with seven minutes left.

Craig Trueblood scored four goals and Brendan Roberts and Josh Ritchey each had hat tricks to lead the Smithsburg boys. Kyle Ritchey, Shane Mann and Justin Hovermale also scored for the Leopards, who netted each of their 13 goals in the first half.

"Defensively, we gave up too many easy shots," said North coach Richard Pryzwarty. "It's technical stuff and with the young team we have, sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back."

Smithsburg (3-2) found offensive options despite recent injuries to its top scoring threats - Kevan Schellenberg and Joe Cacciola.

"The real deal is our two leading scorers were on the sideline," said Leopards coach Joe Dietrich. "Our leading scorer, Schellenberg, broke his collarbone (Saturday) and is out for the season. And our senior leader, Cacciola, hurt his shoulder pretty bad and we don't know when he'll be back.

"We had guys that had to step up for us and they did."

The Hubs (0-3) scored their lone goal when Matt Unger made a charge from midfield and shot past Smithsburg goalie Nick Hoban with 1:33 left in the first half to pull within 13-1.

Both teams were scoreless with a running clock in the second half.

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