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Smithsburg girls edge Williamsport

October 09, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

WILLIAMSPORT - Smithsburg senior Shelby Layman and Williamsport first-year head coach Joe Burger both used the word "bittersweet" to describe their MVAL Antietam girls soccer game Monday night.

It was more sweet than bitter, of course, for Layman, who had a goal and an assist to lead the No. 3 Leopards to a 2-1 victory over the Wildcats and her former coach.

Burger spent the previous five seasons working as an assistant to Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes, and this was the first matchup between the teams since he left.

"He had a huge impact on my improving over the years," said Layman, who couldn't help but notice the change in Williamsport (4-7, 2-1). "Strategy-wise, it was almost like looking in a mirror," she said.

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"That's a compliment," said Burger, who helped guide the Leopards to Maryland Class 1A state titles each of the past two seasons. "I had a little bit of an advantage tonight because I'm one of the architects of (Smithsburg's) system. I knew their strengths and weaknesses."

The Leopards (8-2-1, 4-0), winners of four straight, are still too strong for most teams.

"Our girls put in a great effort," Burger said. "I said, 'Don't put your heads down. That's a two-time state championship team.'"

Smithsburg, which outshot Williamsport 14-6, broke a 0-0 tie in the 39th minute as Lauren Donley scored on an assist from Layman.

"Lauren Donley's scored four goals in the last three games," Fowkes said. "She's given us a big offensive spark."

Layman made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, scoring on an assist from Chelsea Hoover.

Williamsport cut it to 2-1 in the 62nd minute when Emily Tritsch blasted a 40-yard direct kick over the outstretched arms of Leopards keeper Bethany Garnand and into the top of the net.

"That put some more life into Williamsport, and it was a dogfight until the end," Fowkes said.

Morgan Keplinger appeared to tie the game in the 74th minute, but her goal didn't count because the Wildcats were offsides.

Garnand finished with four saves, while 'Cats keeper Lexi Barnes had nine.

Smithsburg faces No. 4 Boonsboro (6-2-1, 2-0) on Thursday in a matchup that likely will determine the Antietam title. If the Leopards, who edged the Warriors 2-1 in the county semifinals a month ago, beat them again, they'll be the champs. If Boonsboro wins, it will then have to beat Williamsport and Catoctin to clinch the title.

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