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Diamond cutters - County stars break through for first all-star win

November 13, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - No one on the field Wednesday night had ever been a part of the Four Diamonds All-Star Soccer Game.

That certainly didn't mean any of the senior standouts were ignorant of its lopsided history.

"Our coaches were telling us that we haven't won, but that we tied once," said Washington County forward Michael Baer of North Hagerstown. "We were all pumped up because we wanted to win."

The Herald-Mail's Washington County All-Stars erased six years of shortcomings by scoring a pair of second-half goals to upend the Public Opinion Pennsylvania All-Stars 2-1 at Indian Stadium.

The win is the first in the series for Washington County, which improved to 1-5-1.

"It's nice to get the monkey off our backs," said Washington County coach Chris Downs of Williamsport. "There's a lot of talent in the county and they worked well together. It was a good team win."

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The game was knotted at 1 until the 74th minute when Baer glided a pass to Hubs teammate Alex Rauch, who pushed it past backup goalie Matt Horner for the go-ahead score.

Williamsport's Michael Reyes started the play at midfield.

"We put Michael Reyes back at center midfield, exactly where we thought we needed more control," Downs said. "We were doing what we needed to do. A result is a result, but nobody likes a tie. We wanted to win the game."

Pennsylvania outshot Washington County 9-5 in the first half and was first to crack the scoreboard in the 26th minute when Shippensburg's Kelly Hess fired a shot from 30 yards past Derek Munro for a 1-0 edge.

The lead stuck through halftime before Baer evened the score just 1:29 into the second half.

Baer got open on the right seam against isolated keeper Mike Mowen of Waynesboro. Baer needed two swipes at the ball before evening the score at 1-1.

"I played with (Mowen) in club ball so I knew he had really good hands," he said. "When I was coming in I could see he was a big guy. He bobbled it and it came back to me. I just slipped it by him."

Washington County made the two second-half goals stand up, holding Pennsylvania to only three shots after halftime. Washington County withstood one last attack in the final minute, just as it was announced $1,203 had been raised - an event record - for the Four Diamond Cancer Fund, not including concessions. The fund is designed to help with expenses for families battling the disease.

"To set the money record and win the game in the same night. ... That's nice," Downs said.

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