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Lions finish job to polish off Leopards

September 16, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

If soccer games were decided by time of possession or total shots, Smithsburg's boys would have earned their first victory of the season Wednesday.

But all that matters is how many times the ball goes in the goal. That's where Broadfording had the upper hand, showing superior finishing for a 3-1 victory.

"We focus on finishes and that's how we score our goals," Lions coach David Grimm said. "In high school, you see a lot of opportunities missed because of a lack of finishing. ... It's nice to come out with a win. We don't get to play the public schools that often."

Broadfording (8-1) wasted no time gaining the upper hand. The Lions executed a beautiful right-left-right passing play, with Ryan Dominguez crossing to Stephen Torres for a goal less than a minute in.

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The Lions missed a chance to go up 2-0 in the fourth minute when Michael Torres sent a shot off the top of the crossbar.

After Broadfording took the first three shots of the first half, Smithsburg (0-6) turned the tide and dominated most of the next 30 minutes. It took the next 11 shots and had three breakaways, but managed to convert only one -- in the 22nd minute, Yusif Kadir took Justin Eckard's through ball and slotted it into the left side of the goal.

The Leopards finished with a 21-9 edge in shots, but it wasn't enough.

"We had some guys who played good. Collectively, we're not able to get things done," Smithsburg coach Gerry Johnson said. "We've done all kinds of shooting drills, we've tried to get them to relax, but you can't put point-blank shots over the crossbar or right at the goalie. Enough of that just demoralizes the team."

Broadfording's Andrew Wyand finished the first half with a bang -- a 25-yard thunderbolt of a shot from the right side against the run of play that went into the top right corner for a 2-1 lead.

"Our team wasn't playing at their standard of play, and Andrew motivated them with that goal and we played better in the second half," Grimm said.

The second half turned into more of a midfield battle with neither side dominating play. In the 60th minute, Broadfording got some insurance when Michael Torres found brother Stephen with a perfect long ball for a breakaway. Stephen calmly chipped the ball over goalkeeper Dan Gillen for a 3-1 lead.

"We scored on a long ball against Heritage in a similar situation (Tuesday)," Grimm said. "We try to look for some long balls, most teams don't expect that from us. Stephen's finish was good. He knows what to do."

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