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Smithsburg spoils debut of Hancock

September 06, 2008|By Andrew Mason

Even though they lost 7-0 to Smithsburg, it still was a game to remember for the Hancock Panthers on Friday evening at the Washington County Girls Soccer Tournament at North Hagerstown's Mike Callas Stadium.

It was their first game as a varsity program -- while Smithsburg has won two of the last three Maryland Class 1A state titles.

"We were excited," said Hancock coach Karen Sornson, whose girls competed as a JV team the last two seasons. "But Smithsburg just played a beautiful game. They're something we can look up to and strive for, to try to get to their level of play.

"We have the potential. I have girls with big hearts who aren't going to give up. We just need to continue to work on everything."

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In Friday's other games, Clear Spring beat South Hagerstown 2-0 and Boonsboro edged Williamsport 1-0.

Today's semifinals at Callas Stadium are Smithsburg vs. Clear Spring at 6 p.m., followed by North Hagerstown vs. Boonsboro at 8.

The host Hubs received a first-round bye because they are the defending tournament champions.

Ashley Ferguson had two goals and an assist to lead Smithsburg, which played its first game with Jeff Berk as head coach. The Leopards took a 2-0 halftime lead and then poured it on in the second half.

"It's good to get one under your belt," said Berk, who replaced Bill Fowkes at the helm. "It took us a little while to get going. It was just nerves, being the first game."

Danielle Berk and Lauren Donley each had a goal and an assist for Smithsburg, while Shannon Delaney, Catherine Schoen and Marissa Luipersbeck each added a goal.

Berk had positive things to say about Hancock.

"They made smart soccer decisions," he said. "You can tell they know what to do. It's just a different speed between JV and varsity. When they get a little experience, they'll be a great addition to the sport in Washington County."

Clear Spring senior Sarah Dice, the county's top returning scorer, picked up where she left off, tallying both of the Blazers' goals against South.

Dice scored off a penalty kick in the 56th minute to break a scoreless tie, and sealed the victory in the final two minutes off an assist from Ashlyn Long.

"Once we got on the board, our intensity picked up," Dice said. "We need that first goal to feed off of."

Beth Andrews made three saves for the shutout, while Christine Kantner's 14 saves kept the Rebels in the game.

Lauren Hensley scored on a free kick in the 67th minute to lift Boonsboro over Williamsport.

"It was played hard on both sides, and it took a free kick to make the difference," Boonsboro coach Kyle Lingg said.

Becky Smith had two saves for the Warriors, while Lexi Barnes had seven for the Wildcats.

Next up for Boonsboro are the four-time defending champs.

"We're excited to have a shot at them," Lingg said.

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