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Warriors stay perfect in Antietam

October 09, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

BOONSBORO -- The reason why Boonsboro-Smithsburg girls soccer has become one of Washington County's great high school sports rivalries is because much more than bragging rights is usually at stake when the Warriors and Leopards meet.

Wednesday night's matchup was no different.

Kayla Walsh scored off Lauren Hensley's corner kick in the final moments of the game to lift No. 4 Boonsboro to a 1-0 victory over No. 5 Smithsburg in a battle of the last two teams unbeaten in MVAL Antietam Conference play.

"(The ball) bounced around everywhere, it hit off the goalie and I just picked up the trash. I was in the right place at the right time," said Walsh of her game-winning goal. "It's so exciting to beat them. They're huge rivals."

While the Leopards (6-4, 4-1), last year's Antietam champs, concluded their conference schedule, the Warriors (7-3, 4-0) still have one game left. They need to beat Catoctin on Oct. 17 to win their first Antietam crown. Catoctin's only conference setback this season was a 4-0 loss to Smithsburg last week.

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A Boonsboro loss to Catoctin could mean a three-way share of the title. But Warriors coach Kyle Lingg said that won't happen.

"The conference championship has been one of our goals since the beginning of the season," Lingg said.

He knew his team would have to beat the Leopards to get it, because they always seem to be the ones standing in the way.

Smithsburg ended Boonsboro's season in the Maryland Class 1A West playoffs both in 2005 and 2006 on its way to state championships. But the Warriors got their revenge last year, ending the Leopards' title run in the region playoffs. That game went 100 scoreless minutes before being decided on penalty kicks.

Putting the ball in the back of the net was nearly as difficult Wednesday.

"I knew it was going to be another battle. It's such a huge rivalry," Lingg said. "I kept telling the girls that if we can keep the pressure up front and get the chances, it will come."

The Warriors finished with advantages of 12-9 in shots and 7-3 in corner kicks, including three chances from the corner in the final two minutes.

Finally, Walsh connected.

"Typical Boonsboro-Smithsburg -- just a hard battle between two evenly matched teams," Smithsburg coach Jeff Berk said. "There are no secrets, just who can put it in the back of the net.

"Last year, we beat them (for the Antietam title) and then they got us in the playoffs. Hopefully we'll get the chance to return the favor."

Goalies Becky Smith of Boonsboro and Bethany Garnand of Smithsburg both made a few splendid stops Wednesday and finished with seven saves each.

JV: Boonsboro, 4-0.

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