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Leopards make goal stand up for county title

September 24, 2007|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

With the memories of 2006 still fresh, this time Smithsburg's boys soccer team kept a firm grasp on the Washington County Tournament title.

The Leopards won their first county title on Saturday night, holding off Williamsport 1-0 at School Stadium.

In 2006, Smithsburg had a 1-0 lead against North Hagerstown, but the Hubs tied it in the final seconds of regulation before winning in a shootout, 3-0.

"This year, we were in the same situation," Leopards coach Paul Newman said. "But we were able to successfully defend our goal. Our defense was pretty good. They didn't give up any goals and they didn't give up many shots."

Newman pointed out a few players who did a little bit extra for Smithsburg (4-2) to seal the win over Williamsport (3-3).

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"I have to give credit to Craig Trueblood," Newman said. "Whenever they put a lot of pressure on us, Trueblood steps up and organizes the back line. Jeremy Kiel comes in for him and he does just as good. The rest of the defense is stingy, too. All four guys that start on the back line are seniors."

The Leopards scored the only goal of the game in the 21st minute when senior forward Josh Edwards scored from the right side on an assist by senior James Reilley.

"I owe my goal to my teammates," Edwards said. "They helped set me up in my position. They do all of the hard work. I just put it in. James is an excellent player. He just knows where to put the ball every time."

Edwards has nine goals this season to lead all Washington County public school players.

"I definitely think our team can go far," Edwards said. "We have potential at every position. We have already accomplished one of our goals by winning the county tournament. Now, we are going to try to go to the states."

Newman was impressed with the play that created Smithsburg's goal.

"I give a lot of credit to James," Newman said. "He stole the ball from the Williamsport defender and set up Josh with a good pass."

Leopards junior goalkeeper Brett Toms made 10 saves, while Wildcats junior Derek Munro made 13. Smithsburg outshot Williamsport 14-10.

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