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Cougars send 'Dogs packing

October 28, 2008|By JOHN O'BRIEN / Staff Correspondent

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. -- Jefferson girls soccer coach Harold Bache is going out a winner on his home field. His next mission is to leave his post with another state championship.

Bache's unbeaten Cougars disposed of rival Martinsburg 3-0 Monday night in the Class AAA Region II Section 2 finals, setting up today's game at Bridgeport with a berth in the state tournament on the line.

The defending state champions received two goals from Jenny Perry and another from Sarah Cogswell to keep Bache's last season alive.

"I was pleased," said Bache, whose team improved to 19-0-2. "There were not many games this year where we put a full 80 minutes together, and tonight we did that.

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"Sometimes we come out sluggish for the first 20 or 25 minutes. We talked about needing to not do that."

In the ninth minute, Perry provided the early lead by collecting a ball that had been misplayed by the Bulldogs' last defender and beating keeper Jasmyne Bartley on a breakaway.

Martinsburg coach Meredith Matczak said she stressed possession to her team. Controling the ball was about the only way to possibly beat the high-scoring Cougars, who have scored 114 goals this season.

"That's always one of our goals anyway," Matczak said. "We didn't win many balls in the air and we definitely didn't keep it when we had possession."

It got even tougher in the 29th minute, when several players fell at the top of the box around Amelia Park's pass, leaving Cogswell with an open shot for her 35th goal of the season.

Martinsburg (14-6-1) struggled to get any offense against the Cougars. The Bulldogs took only five shots, forcing keeper Melissa Taylor to make just one save. By comparison, Jefferson took 16 shots, seven on goal.

Bache credited his back line of Eva Marshall, Katie Perry, Kirsten Chaney and Heather Shaffer for shutting down Martinsburg's attack.

"They've got it at everything," Matczak said. "They've got speed, they've got touch - they've got a lot of options."

Perry sealed the game with her second goal of the game and 26th of the season in the 83rd minute after her initial shot off a pass from Cogswell was blocked.

Jefferson plays at Bridgeport tonight, forced to deal with back-to-back games because its field was unplayable Saturday. The Cougars beat Bridgeport 3-1 earlier this year.

"And it's calling for nasty weather (Tuesday)," said Bache, who wants to be a trainer for club players after coaching. "It's going to be a challenge. You're going to have adversity, and you're going to have to fight it."

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