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Hubs have Leopards' number

October 17, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

North Hagerstown girls soccer coach Rick Aleshire would have preferred three first-half goals Tuesday night against No. 2 Smithsburg.

He had to settle for the next best thing.

No. 1 North scored for the third time three minutes into the second half to take a commanding lead and the Hubs went on to post a 4-1 win at Mike Callas Stadium - their fourth straight win against the Leopards.

"I know it was 2-0, but I was telling the girls we'd like to get another one before halftime," Aleshire said. "We talked about it. We wanted to come out and get one more because it's really tough to come back from 3-0."

Aleshire was right. The Leopards cut the score to 3-1 with just under 20 minutes left, but the Hubs answered less than four minutes later to once again make it a three-goal lead.

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The four goals allowed is a season-high for Smithsburg, which had a five-game winning streak snapped. The Leopards' last loss this season came 24 days ago to the Hubs in the Washington County Tournament final.

Smithsburg is winless against North since Sept. 22, 2005, despite back-to-back Maryland Class 1A state titles.

"(North) is a really tough team to face and we certainly don't like losing to them," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "On the other hand, it's better to face a good team like them because it only makes you better."

The Hubs (10-1) had goals from four different players, beginning with senior Carlie Colella in the fourth minute. Hannah Barton was tripped inside the box and Colella placed her penalty kick inside the left post.

A pair of reserves teamed to increase the lead to 2-0 in the 22nd minute. Sophomore Josie Smith got free up the left sideline and bent her pass in front of the goal to senior Jess Shuff, who quickly booted it past charging goalie Bethany Garnand.

The potent Borland twins each scored in the second half - Maria beat three defenders and scored just after halftime make it 3-0, while Stephanie answered the first Leopards goal when she received the ball on a bounce and floated it over Garnand with 16 minutes left. The assist went to Maria.

"It's always going to be tough to stop Maria and Stephanie," Aleshire said. "But (Shuff) came off the bench and got right in there and scored. ... Same thing for Josie on the assist."

Smithsburg (9-3-1) avoided the shutout when Gretchen Downey scored on a penalty kick in the 61st minute. That was the last legitimate scoring chance for the Leopards, who trailed 11-3 in shots on goal.

"Tonight, they were the better team. They have a lot of speed and a lot of skill," Fowkes said. "They were faster to the 50-50 balls and forced us into early mistakes."

The Leopards had six corner kicks - compared to one for North - but they failed to cash in on any of them and only once created a shot on goal.

"We talk about the significance of those set plays and how important they are," Fowkes said. "We just couldn't make anything out of them."

JV: North, 2-0.

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