Leopards advance to face No. 1 seed

May 08, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

SMITHSBURG -- Smithsburg's boys lacrosse team came out firing on all cylinders, building a 6-1 lead in the first quarter and spreading the attack around on the way to a 12-6 victory over Rockville in a Maryland Class 2A/1A West first-round game.

Chris Smith, Luke Slick, Mark Chirdon, A.J. Minnich and Shane Mann each had two goals and nine different players recorded a point for the Leopards (8-6), who will travel to face No. 1-seed Marriotts Ridge at noon on Saturday.

"It was a good team effort," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said. "When they were moving their feet, things happened, and everyone can contribute then. We're not just standing around watching one guy."

Chirdon got the Leopards started, wrapping around the goal for a score 48 seconds in. Cullan Ganley fed Mann for a goal 41 seconds later to make it 2-0.


Rockville's Ian Kirk scored on a deflected shot with 8:42 left in the first quarter to make it 2-1, before Smithsburg scored the next four goals to make it 6-1.

Minnich found the net on a counterattack at 7:49, Smith batted a loose ball on the ground into the goal at 5:58, Chirdon scored on a man advantage after getting a pass from Minnich at 2:30, and Smith found Mann in front for a goal with 54.2 seconds left in the quarter.

Rockville (3-6) closed the quarter with Ricky Morse's goal off a long pass from Mike Spahn over the Leopards' defense with 2.6 seconds left. Each team scored twice in the second quarter -- Slick and Minnich for Smithsburg, Matt Yin and Vinnie Curl for Rockville -- as the Leopards took an 8-4 lead into halftime.

The goal by Minnich with 41.9 seconds left in the second was Smithsburg's only goal over more than a 22-minute stretch across the second and third quarters.

"It's near the end of the season and our biggest thing is consistency," Dietrich said. "Everyone's running around early, getting into it, and then we stop moving and start watching."

Nearly 10 minutes elapsed in the third quarter before Curl scored again for Rockville to cut Smithsburg's lead to 8-5. Dean White answered a minute later off a feed from Minnich to make it 9-5 entering the fourth.

Morse made a move from the left side into the middle for a goal to cut the lead to 9-6, but the Leopards finally put the game away with three goals in the final six minutes. Minnich scored on an assist by Chirdon, Ganley sent a rocket into the net from 20 yards and Smith scored on a feed from Ganley.

Minnich finished with three assists, while Smith, Chirdon and Ganley each had two for Smithsburg. Slick added an assist and goalie Nick Hoban made 11 saves.

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