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Hubs girls earn fourth straight county title

September 23, 2007|By LARRY YANOS

The undefeated North Hagerstown girls soccer team scored two goals in a six-minute span of the second half Saturday and captured the Washington County Tournament championship with a 2-1 comeback victory over Smithsburg at School Stadium.

The No. 1 Hubs recorded their fourth consecutive county title, but it didn't come easy.

Smithsburg grabbed a 1-0 advantage on Shelby Layman's goal in the 32nd minute of the first half, her fifth goal of the year.

North Hagerstown matched it on Maria Borland's penalty kick in the 52nd minute for her eighth goal of the season. Six minutes later, Kaitln Ritter decided the game with a breakaway goal down the right side.

"The play was set up perfectly," said Ritter, a sophomore forward. "I was in front, waited for my teammates to get position, and then took a shot. It's a big win for us, especially beating such a strong team as Smithsburg."

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The opposing coaches - North Hagerstown's Rick Aleshire and Smithsburg's Bill Fowkes - were pleased with their team's efforts.

"Beating a quality team such as Smithsburg is a real plus for the program," Aleshire said. "Even though we were down at halftime, we maintained our intensity in the second half, put more pressure on them defensively and got the two goals to win the game."

Fowkes felt the penalty kick changed the complexion of the contest, but also lauded his team's efforts - even in defeat.

"We have faced quality opponents all season and, win or lose, it can only help us as we strive for our ultimate goal - winning another state championship," Fowkes said. "Shelby has played well for us all year and we've actually had 10 different players score goals this season."

The Leopards are the two-time reigning Maryland Class 1A state champions.

The game was a rematch of last year's county final, won 3-1 by the Hubs.

North also beat Smithsburg 2-0 in a later match to sweep the season series.

The 2007 rivalry will continue at Mike Callas Stadium on Oct. 16 when North and Smithsburg meet again.

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