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Western shootout -Boonsboro uses penalty kicks to pull out region title

November 05, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Williamsport boys soccer team defeated Boonsboro twice earlier this season - once for the Washington County Tournament title, and again on the way to the MVAL Antietam championship.

The Warriors kept the Wildcats from the trifecta on Tuesday night. Boonsboro has the Maryland Class 1A West title all to itself.

In a game filled with twists, turns and memorable plays, Grant Brown's goal on the 12th shot of a penalty-kick shootout gave the Warriors a 4-3 win in the shootout and a 2-1 victory over Williamsport in the 1A West final.

After it was all said and done, all Boonsboro coach Brad Delauter could do was raise his arms in the air, speechless - right before he was doused by the traditional Gatorade shower.

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"The paper said we were a sleeper this season," Delauter said, referring to a season preview story two months ago. "I didn't like that too much, but here we are."

Williamsport (13-5) had won its previous two games against Boonsboro (14-4) by a combined 6-1. But the Warriors' defense made a statement Tuesday night, led by sweeper Kenny Kopp, goalkeeper Paul Jordan and Micaiah Jessie - an attacking player who was asked to mark Wildcats star Michael Reyes and kept him off the stat sheet.

"Jessie totally shut down Michael, Kenny was great in the back, and Jordan is only a sophomore," Delauter said. "What can I say? We played physical and attacked from the moment the whistle blew."

After 68 scoreless minutes, Boonsboro took a 1-0 lead on Keith Welch's free kick from 20 yards out past Wildcats keeper Derek Munro. Welch took the shot from outside the left post and curled it around the diving Munro, just inside the right post.

Williamsport looked to be beaten as the clock ticked down, but in the final two minutes, the Wildcats shocked the Warriors with an equalizer. Brandon Bachtell's long throw-in from the right side bounced around the middle before a clearing attempt went to Adam Weaver, who sent it back toward the goal. As the ball scooted along the ground through dozens of legs, Mark Oliver managed to get a slight touch on it, and it got past Jordan for the tie that sent the match into overtime.

"I knew they wouldn't quit," Williamsport coach Chris Downs said. "We found a way to tie it."

The Wildcats had a chance to win it in the second minute of the first overtime, when Reyes finally found room in the penalty box on a counterattack. He turned away from the charging Jordan, who went low for the ball but took Reyes to the ground instead, drawing a whistle and a penalty shot.

Reyes sent the shot toward the right post, but Jordan was up to the task, stretching out to make a spectacular save.

"I got some assistance from Keith. He told me to watch his hips, and that helped me so much," Jordan said. "When I got to it, I was completely shocked."

Three of the five selected shootout competitors connected. Edwin Reyes, Justin Gardenhour and Oliver scored for the Wildcats, while Shane Lowery, Kopp and Mitch Stenerson found the net for the Warriors.

On the sixth rotation, Brandon Barlow's low shot was saved by Jordan. Brown's shot to the low left fooled Munro, who crumpled to the ground distraught as the Warriors started celebrating.

"I was so scared," Brown said. "Munro is a very good keeper. If it weren't for (Jordan), we'd be done right now. ... This was the biggest game of my life. It was crazy."

Boonsboro will face 1A North champion Sparrows Point on Saturday at 5 p.m. at North Hagerstown's Mike Callas Stadium in the state semifinals.

As for Williamsport, a great season came to a bittersweet end.

"We had a great season and I'm extremely proud of them," Downs said. "They restored the reputation and pride of this program."

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