Layman leads list in Leopards' leap

December 13, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

Smithsburg girls soccer has become synonymous with success, and the Layman sisters have almost become synonymous with Smithsburg girls soccer.

Lindsay Layman played on the Leopards' 2001 Maryland Class 1A state championship team. Lauren Layman was on the 2002 squad that advanced to the state final.

And then there's Shelby Layman, who scored two goals in each of Smithsburg's state title wins in 2005 and 2006.

"My whole family's been an influence," said Shelby, who was a senior captain for Smithsburg this fall. "That's what we do at family gatherings - play soccer - my cousins and everything. We even play soccer on the beach when we all go on vacation."

Life wasn't always a beach for Layman this season, as she was heavily marked in games and had to witness the end of the Leopards' six-year reign as West region champions and two-year reign as state champs.


But she still managed to lead her team in scoring for the third straight year - and earn The Herald-Mail's 2007 All-Area and All-Washington County Player of the Year honors.

"The schedule was a lot more demanding this year," said Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes, whose team went 11-5-1 and won the MVAL Antietam title with a 5-0 conference record. "We played some quality teams, and Shelby was often double-teamed. She was a marked player."

Layman, a striker, still struck, recording 16 goals and eight assists in 16 games.

"It was a little frustrating," she said. "But it's something you have to learn to adapt to."

"Her work ethic during games is pretty much unmatched," Fowkes said. "She was always exciting to watch, just a bundle of energy on the field. She'd get knocked down and hop right back up and get right back in the attack, right back at it."

"She's one of those girls who gives every part of her body - 130 percent," North Hagerstown coach Rick Aleshire said. "She's done quite a job there at Smithsburg. She had quite a run."

Layman finished her high school career with 59 goals and 31 assists. Her 149 career points are third-most in Smithsburg history.

"We've certainly been blessed with a lot of dedicated and talented soccer players, and she ranks right up there with the top ones," Fowkes said.

Her play in the state championship games will be hard to forget. She scored both of Smithsburg's goals in the 2-0 victory over Sparrows Point in 2005 and two more in the Leopards' 4-1 win over Perryville last year.

"To play in two state championship games and score two goals in each game ... it's tough sometimes to get your team to score one goal in a state final," Fowkes said. "It's quite an accomplishment."

Layman, an all-state second-team selection this fall, said the highlight of her Smithsburg career was "just hanging out with the team."

"I've had a great time all four years," she said. "We had a good run, with or without this season. It was disappointing to lose, but I can't really complain."

College soccer is next.

"I'm undecided at this point, but I'm hoping to play Division II," she said.

And there's still another Layman left for the Leopards. Clayton Layman, the younger brother, will be a freshman next fall.

"He plans on playing soccer," Shelby Layman said. "He seems pretty good."

Joining Layman on the All-Area First Team are:

· Maria Borland, North Hagerstown - The junior forward recorded a team-high 30 points (12 goals, six assists).

· Stephanie Borland, North Hagerstown - The junior forward had 10 goals and five assists for the Washington County champions.

· Erin Chafardon, McConnellsburg - The senior forward led the Tri-State in goals (23), assists (12) and points (58).

· Sarah Cogswell, Jefferson - The sophomore forward scored a team-high 20 goals for the West Virginia state champs. She was an all-state first-team selection.

· Carlie Colella, North Hagerstown - The senior defender was a major reason why the Hubs only allowed 16 goals in 17 games. She also scored five goals, including four game-winners.

· Shannon Conway, Jefferson - The senior defender helped the Cougars hold opponents to a mere 14 goals in 23 games. She was a West Virginia all-state first-team selection.

· Sarah Cooper, Jefferson - The senior led all Tri-State goalkeepers in shutouts (nine) and goals-against average (0.69).

· Sarah Dice, Clear Spring - The junior midfielder had 14 goals and six assists, leading the Blazers to their first winning season in five years.

· Erica DiMercurio, Goretti - The senior forward led all Washington County players with 19 goals. She also had nine assists and a county-high 47 points.

· Kristen Marshall, Martinsburg - The senior forward had 18 goals and nine assists. She was a West Virginia all-state second-team selection.

· Jessica Palmer, Williamsport - The senior midfielder was a Maryland all-state honorable-mention selection. She played every minute of every game this year.

· Katie Perry, Jefferson - The junior was named the Class AAA defender of the year by the West Virginia High School Soccer Coaches Association. She also had nine goals and nine assists.

· Katie Reese, Boonsboro - The senior midfielder was a Maryland all-state honorable-mention selection. She had 10 goals and five assists.

· Sarah Talbott, Musselman - The senior midfielder had 19 goals and six assists. She was a West Virginia all-state first-team selection.

All-Area Second Team

Beth Andrews, Jr., GK, Clear Spring

Tiffany Banks, Sr., M, Jefferson

Erin Breen, Sr., F, Hedgesville

Lauren Donley, Jr., D, Smithsburg

Tatiana Duchak, So., F, Mercersburg

Lauren Hensley, Jr., F, Boonsboro

Chelsea Hoover, Sr., F, Smithsburg

Lindsay Irving, So., GK, N. Hagerstown

Morgan Keplinger, Jr., F, Williamsport

Annie Meyers, Sr., GK, Boonsboro

Meghan Mock, Sr., F, Berkeley Springs

Jordan Reedy, Sr., M, Berkeley Springs

Katie Ritter, So., M, North Hagerstown

Rebecca Trump, Jr., F, Berkeley Springs

Amy Wright, So., F, Martinsburg

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