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Smith helps Hubs to sixth straight title on last kick

September 19, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Sometimes, what you don't know can be a good thing.

North Hagerstown junior Kelsey Smith had no idea the Hubs' sixth-straight Washington County Tournament championship rested soley on her cannon of a right foot as the last shooter in a penalty kick shootout with Boonsboro.

Maybe that's why she seemed so cool under pressure as she buried the shot in the top left corner, giving the Hubs a 4-3 victory in the shootout following a scoreless tie in regulation.

"I was just thinking there is so many seniors on the team who deserve this. I wanted to make it for them and for God," Smith said. "I had no idea that would win the game. That was a surprise."

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North (4-1) took a 2-0 lead through two rounds of the shootout when Katie Ritter and Jackie Keller converted while Boonsoboro's first two shots sailed over the crossbar.

Emily Horst, Jaclyn Fiola and Amanda Truax scored in the last three rounds for the Warriors (3-3), while Courtney Boschert scored in round four for the Hubs, leaving the score tied at 3 with Smith up last.

Smith, who has two goals on long free kicks this season, failed two long attempts over the crossbar during regulation, but she struck gold in the shootout, giving Warriors' keeper Becky Smith -- who was brilliant in keeping the Hubs off the scoreboard for 80 minutes -- no chance at stopping the penalty shot.

"She's been doing it all year, and we know she has a foot on her," said North coach Rick Aleshire.

"The thing I like about (the title streak) is the girls before them set the bar, and they continue to meet that bar. They're true champions in that they want to keep the crown, and nobody has knocked us out yet."

North had advantages of 28-6 in total shots and 14-3 in shots on goal, but many of those shots came from long range.

In 34th minute, Becky Smith made diving save to her right on a header by Katie Socks off a corner kick, and covered the ball in a crowd. In the 71st minute, Smith rushed out to smother Sam Koterwas' shot on a breakaway.

"Becky had a great shutout for us," said Warriors coach Kyle Lingg. "She had a couple this season and she was excellent. We were able to limit their good shots."

Boonsboro's best opportunities came in the first 10 minutes of the second half after being outshot 18-2 in the first half. In the 43rd minute, Kayla Walsh's shot off a corner kick went wide left, and in the 44th minute, Walsh set a perfect through ball to Erin Eslick, whose shot sailed just wide.

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