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Lambert, Hunt shined in Cougars' run to state semis

December 14, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

If you listen to Jefferson senior Chris Lambert speak about his success on the pitch this season, he'll tell you it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time and having great teammates.

According to Cougars coach Doug Hunt, there's a lot more to it than that.

No matter the reasons, it's hard to argue with the results. Lambert scored 20 goals and assisted on 12 others, helping Jefferson reach the West Virginia Class AAA state semifinals for the second straight year and earning himself a first-team selection to the West Virginia writer's all-state team.

Lambert is The Herald-Mail's 2007 Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

"Positioning. It takes being in the right position," Lambert said. "It just makes things a lot easier."

Hunt believes it's what Lambert does once he gets the ball that makes him special.

"He protects the ball really well. He's physically one of the strongest players I've ever coached," Hunt said. "When defenders try to knock him off the ball, they more often than not knock themselves down. His physical strength and his powerful left-footed shot are huge.

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"He came into this season determind to do his best, work hard and give 100 percent every moment he was out there. He's a big, strong kid who worked hard."

Lambert also was selected to the West Virginia coaches' all-state second team and the Apple Valley League first team.

· Hunt is The Herald-Mail 2007 Boys Soccer Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars farther in their state tournament than any other Tri-State team this season.

Jefferson endured a few bumps in the road this season, mainly due to injuries. At their low point, the Cougars were 8-5-2 after a 3-2 loss to Apple Valley League opponent St. Maria Goretti.

But the Cougars got healthy and played better in the final month of the season, going 6-1-2 the rest of the way - the loss coming in the state semifinals to George Washington, 2-1.

"We had injury issues all season, and toward the middle of the season, we also had some discipline issues," Hunt said. "We had some kids doing some things that were detrimental to the team, and I had to issue some suspensions, and that served as a wake-up call and a catalyst to get it together. Once everyone got their attitudes back on track, we didn't lose a game after that until the state semifinals. We made up our minds to do it and we did it."

Hunt pointed to a 3-3 tie against Linsly School, a private school that at the time was ranked No. 1 in West Virginia, as the spark to their postseason run.

"We were down 3-0 with a little over 20 minutes to go, and the kids woke up and wound up tying them," Hunt said.

The rest of The Herald-Mail's All-Area First Team:

· John Boyd, Musselman, Sr., F/M - An Apple Valley League first-team selection, Boyd scored 18 goals and assisted on 11 more for the Applemen.

· Francesco Scotto DiCarlo, Clear Spring, Sr., F - Talented striker had 12 goals and eight assists for the Blazers, earning an MVAL Antietam first-team selection.

· Trevor Dusing, Musselman, Sr., M - After scoring 13 goals and assisting 13 more for the Applemen, he was selected to both the West Virginia writers' and coaches' second teams and earned Apple Valley League first-team honors.

· Josh Edwards, Smithsburg, Sr., F - He helped the Leopards go undefeated in the MVAL Antietam with his 13 goals and four assists, earning conference first-team honors.

· Mac Frederick, Greencastle-Antrim, Sr., M - Mid-Penn Capital first-team honoree scored 21 goals and assisted on eight others for the Blue Devils.

· Steve Kretzer, Smithsburg, Jr., M - He was named to the MVAL Antietam first team after scoring 13 goals and assisting on six others for the Leopards.

· Kent Lemaster, Martinsburg, Sr., M - He was selected to the West Virginia coaches' all-state first team after scoring 12 goals and adding six assists. A West Virginia writers' all-state second-team pick and Apple Valley League first-team honoree.

· Matt Martin, Berkeley Springs, Jr., M - He scored 24 goals and added nine assists for the Indians, and was named to the West Virginia writers' all-state first team and the Apple Valley League first team.

· Derek Munro, Williamsport, Jr., GK - He finished with a 1.12 goals-against average, four shutouts and 225 saves and was selected to the MVAL Antietam first team.

· Mike Springer, Jefferson, Jr., D - He was selected to both the West Virginia coaches' and writers' all-state second teams after helping the Cougars hold opponents to just 33 goals in 25 games, including seven shutouts.

· Alex Swartz, Chambersburg, Sr., D - He was selected to the Mid-Penn Commonwealth first team as the Trojans allowed just 25 goals in 19 games, including six shutouts.

· Evon Wiestling, Greencastle-Antrim, Sr., F - A key part of the Blue Devils' talented attack, Wiestling had 14 goals and 11 assists.

· Joshua Wise, Berkeley Springs, Jr., F - After scoring 21 goals and assisting on 22 more for the Indians, Wise was selected to both the West Virginia writers' and coaches' second teams, and earned Apple Valley League first-team honors.

· Cory Zimmerman, James Buchanan, Sr., F - He earned Mid-Penn Capital first-team honors after scoring 10 goals and assisting on five more for the Rockets.

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