Smithsburg boys rout Rams for 11th straight win

October 31, 2007|By LARRY YANOS

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg boys soccer team showed few effects of a one-week layoff Tuesday, running its winning streak to 11 games by blanking Southern Garrett 5-0 in the Maryland Class 1A West quarterfinals.

The Leopards (14-2), who haven't lost since Sept. 18, will play at Northern Garrett in the region semifinals. The Huskies beat Williamsport 1-0 on Tuesday.

"We played well," Smithsburg coach Paul Newman said. "I was a little concerned with the layoff, but we got healthy and rested. We did have some hard practices."

Southern Garrett (4-9-1) was coming off a 2-0 region win against Catoctin on Monday - the same team Smithsburg had defeated 3-1 earlier in the season.


"I thought it would be closer, but we just outplayed them," Newman said. "(James) Reilley set the tone with the first goal. He hasn't scored much this year, but his goals have all been pivotal. That was a big plus getting the first score."

Reilly's goal came in the game's 30th minute and teammate Steve Kretzer put on a dazzling display of footwork in the 32nd minute, weaving left and right against the Southern Garrett defense before drilling the ball past junior goalkeeper Kody Lewis for a 2-0 halftime lead.

Smithsburg goalkeeper Brett Toms turned in another outstanding effort Tuesday - recording his seventh shutout of the season - and the outcome was never in doubt in the closing 40 minutes.

The Leopards completely controlled the second half as Josh Edwards scored two goals and Anthony Gibson added another to complete the scoring.

"It felt good," Edwards said. "I'm getting back into playing shape and it was nice to contribute two goals. We're working as a team, we have some scorers."

Edwards missed four games early in the season due to an ankle sprain and his offense was sorely missed by the Leopards.

Toms, playing in his first varsity season, complimented the defense.

"We put five goals on the board, but the defense really stepped up," Toms said. "We put the pressure on them and I didn't have that many save opportunities in the second half. The layoff didn't bother us because we worked very hard in practice."

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