Colella's goal stands out for Hubs

October 31, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

With her neon green cleats, North Hagerstown's Carlie Colella is rather easy to find on the soccer field.

No one at Mike Callas Stadium needed help spotting her Tuesday night, especially after she pinned an 18-yard direct kick off the left goalpost and into the net in the 62nd minute - the lone score of the game to lift the Hubs past Middletown 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the Maryland Class 2A West playoffs.

"They had me set it up and I saw the corner was wide open," Colella said. "At first I didn't think it was going to go in. I was just hoping it would."

After Katie Ritter was fouled at the 18, Colella answered the call and placed the ball about 10 yards outside the right seam. She bent the shot over a wall of Middletown defenders, fading it to the left before watching it bang high off the goalpost. Colella and the Hubs let go a collective cheer - perhaps it was a sigh of relief - as the ball kissed the back of the net.


"She missed one in the first half that she just kind of dinked," North coach Rick Aleshire said. "At halftime I said, 'Carlie, it doesn't matter if you kick it 30 feet high, but you have to kick it. Just pick your spot and go for it.'"

The goal allowed North (14-2) to avenge its sole MVAL Piedmont loss - one of only two overall blemishes this season. Middletown (8-6-1) edged the Hubs 3-2 in the regular-season finale last Wednesday.

"Tonight, we changed formation and went more defensive," Aleshire said. "We went with a double stopper in the back. It's a change, because I like to get out on offense and score some goals, but we knew we had to stop (Knights forward) Juli Sullivan."

No Knight, Sullivan included, could push through against the Hubs defense. Middletown's attempts at creating offensive runs usually started at midfield and often went long and harmlessly into the hands of keeper Lindsey Irving. At other times, the Knights got to the corners and simply couldn't create an open shot on their cross attempts.

The Hubs offense was better, but it needed a shot on a set play to finally crack the net.

"I don't think there's anything we could have done differently. We did what we needed to do, we just didn't capitalize on our opportunities," Middletown coach Heather Kline said. "The bottom line is, they got a goal and we didn't. That was a beautiful shot by (Colella). There's nothing we could have done to stop it."

Colella's perfectly placed shot puts top-seeded North in the region semifinals, where they will host fourth-seeded Century, which beat South Hagerstown 4-1 on Tuesday.

The Hubs won the first meeting 2-1 on Oct. 2, but as Tuesday night's game showed, the regular season holds little impact in the one-and-done postseason.

"Century is good. We beat them but, oh, they're good," Aleshire said. "The girls know if you lose now, you lose. There's nothing else."

The Herald-Mail Articles