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Williamsport, North claim county titles

September 21, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

The Williamsport boys soccer team is starting to turn first-year coach Chris Downs' vision into reality.

Because of it, the Wildcats were crownded Washington County Tournament champions on Saturday night at Mike Callas Stadium.

Michael Reyes wreaked havoc up front on the way to a two-goal night, and Grant Smith added a goal and an assist as Williamsport paid Boonsboro back for a first-round loss with a one-sided 3-0 victory in the boys championship game.

With midfielders Brandon Barlow and Mark Oliver back from injury, the Wildcats (4-2) turned Reyes loose up front, and his speed and ball-handling skills left the Warriors (4-2) on their heels.

"We got two guys back from injury and that allowed us to put Michael back up front and we're not wasting him in the midfield," Downs said. "We're hitting our stride a little bit."

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The first five minutes were action-packed. Reyes had his first opportunity -- a point-blank shot -- turned away by Boonsboro keeper Paul Jordan in the second minute, while the Warriors' Shane Lowery watched his header bounce off the crossbar in the fourth.

But the Wildcats settled into their on-the-ground passing game and Reyes started cutting loose and creating scoring chances. However, it was a chance he didn't create that first put Williamsport on the board.

In the 29th minute, Oliver made a run up the right side and found Smith, who crossed the ball to a wide-open Reyes for an easy score.

After owning a 14-10 edge in shots in the first half, the Wildcats turned up the heat and outshot Boonsboro 15-4 in the second.

In the 58th minute, Brandon Bachtell beat Jordan -- who came out from his spot in goal -- to a ball in the middle and found an open Smith for a 2-0 lead.

In the 70th, Reyes took a ball in the middle, beat two defenders with a couple dribbles to his right, then fired a low shot to the left that caught Jordan leaning the wrong way for a 3-0 edge.

"They're understanding how they need to play, and everything is coming together real nice," Downs said.

ยท Behind Maria Borland's hat trick, North Hagerstown's girls won their fifth straight Washington County Tournament title with a 3-0 victory over Clear Spring.

"There's definitely a sense of pride," Hubs coach Rick Aleshire said. "These girls work hard not only here, but all year long. They dedicate themselves to the game of soccer."

Borland's three goals gave the senior 46 in her career at North, breaking Courtney Whorten's record of 44 set in 2006.

"It was a complete team effort to make it this far in the county," Borland said. "The record is great, but I wouldn't have it without my teammates."

"A little girl plays big," Aleshire said.

The Hubs (5-1) took the lead in the 40th minute when Blazers defender Wendy Lucas turned the ball over to Borland. She dribbled to the middle and released a low shot into the left side of the goal.

Borland struck again eight minutes into the second half, firing a left-footed shot from about 25 yards into the top of the goal.

In the 78th minute, Borland took a ball near the right corner and used some fancy footwork along the end line to work her way towad the goal before tucking a shot between Blazers keeper Elizabeth Andrews and the right post.

Clear Spring fell to 4-2, with both losses coming to North by a combined 5-0 score.

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