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Hubs get revenge vs. Lions

October 31, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

The postseason is a perfect time to gain revenge and that's what the North Hagerstown girls soccer team did Thursday in the Maryland Class 2A West semifinals at Mike Callas Stadium.

With a 1-0 loss to Liberty back on Sept. 12 on their minds, along with some confident pregame talk on the part of the Lions adding to North's motivation, the Hubs struck for a decisive 3-0 victory.

Tonight, Century hosts Walkersville and that winner will play in the final against the Hubs at North Hagerstown on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

"We played pretty much the same as we did the first time," said North coach Rick Aleshire. "The only difference was some shots went in."

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In the first meeting North outshot Liberty 13-2 but couldn't find the net. On Wednesday, North held a 14-3 advantage and made them count.

The No. 1-seeded Hubs were giants defensively. Keeper Lindsay Irving could have brought a television set and watched it for most of the night.

"I think we've got the best defense in the area," said Aleshire. "(Amanda) Hutzell is a terrific sweeper."

It just wasn't Hutzell. Others such as Ashley Binau, Caroline Kreiger and Kelsey Smith were in the faces of their opponents all night. Seldom did Liberty (8-4-4) get within 30 yards of the North goal -- Irving's one save was on a weak, long-distance effort.

The Hubs (13-2-1) have allowed only nine goals all season.

North gained the momentum in the 15th minute when junior Katie Ritter displayed some blazing speed down the right sideline and some nifty footwork.

Cutting into the middle, Ritter maintained contact with the ball as she slipped to the ground and scored from 12 yards out on a rocket past Liberty keeper Caitlin Prince.

In the 46th minute, Ritter again went about 40 yards down the sideline, cut left and dumped a pass into the goal that was tipped away by Prince, but right to the footstep of Maria Borland, who promptly knocked in her 53rd career goal.

"I came in with motivation tonight," said Ritter, "because we were not going to let the seniors down. I love to play on the outside and take chances."

Aleshire said Ritter "is relentless and surprises teams with her speed."

In extra time, about five seconds prior to the final whistle, North put a heavy duty lock on the Lions' cage when Binau scored on an assist from Borland.

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