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Leopards oust rival Warriors

October 25, 2008|By CURT HORNBECKER

BOONSBORO -- Call it destiny.

In each of the last three seasons, the Smithsburg and Boonsboro girls' soccer teams determined each other's playoff fate. And in each of the last two years, goals were at a premium.

Why should this year be any different?

A pesky Leopards defense ensured that two first-half scores would be enough Friday night, as Smithsburg avenged last year's playoff loss with a 2-0 victory in a Maryland Class 1A West first-round game against the Warriors.

"Our defense has been stout all year," said Leopards coach Jeff Berk. "We only allowed two goals in conference this year, and when our offense gives us a little bit of a lead, it's usually enough."

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That lead came in the 18th minute when Danielle Berk's shot from 20 yards out sailed over the outstretched arms of the leaping Becky Smith in the Warriors' goal.

"We wanted the early goal. They got the early goal," said Boonsboro coach Kyle Lingg. "But that didn't put us too far out. There are so many chances to score in soccer."

Those chances, though, seemed few and far between for the Warriors (8-7). The Leopards' defense limited Boonsboro to just five shots on goal, and kept the Warriors' offense off balance all evening.

"We couldn't get anything going," said Lingg. "We were a little out of sync, and we had trouble running our game plan."

The Leopards (9-5-1) made it 2-0 in the 38th minute when Amy Poffenberger rebounded a Lauren Donley shot and put the ball into a wide-open net.

"They really seemed to get desperate after that," said Poffenberger.

If the Leopards held an advantage in intensity, they also held an advantage in playoff experience.

"We have eight seniors, and five or six of them were with us when we went to the state championships (in 2005 and 2006)," Berk said. "They're used to playoff intensity."

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