Hubs rolling after 3-game skid

October 01, 2009

Boys Soccer

North Hagerstown's three-game losing streak prior to the Washington County Tournament final has become a distant memory.

The Hubs (7-3, 2-0) won five straight games including Thursday night's MVAL Antietam battle against Williamsport (4-4-2, 1-1) -- a rematch of the tournament championship game which North won with a 5-4 edge in penalty kicks following a scoreless tie on Sept. 19.

There's two main reasons for North's recent dominance:

* Zero goals allowed in the last 400 minutes. The Hubs' team defense has been outstanding, in part because of the midfield's ability to keep control of the ball. The few chances opponents have been able to get have been turned away by goalkeeper Caleb Mittel.

* An attack that can spread the wealth. In North's victories over Clear Spring (4-0 on Sept. 24) and Brunswick (2-0 on Tuesday), eight players either scored or had an assist.


Lions, Knights to clash again

The titans of the Mason Dixon Christian Conference -- Grace Academy (12-1, 9-0) and Broadfording (12-2, 10-1) -- will clash for the second time on Tuesday at Broadfording.

The Knights won a 3-0 decision at home on Sept. 10, and have won six straight since their only loss, a 1-0 setback to South Hagerstown two days after the win against the Lions. In addition to its MDCC competition, Grace has wins over Martinsburg, St. Maria Goretti and Smithsburg.

The Lions have won six of seven games since the loss to the Knights, their only setback a 1-0 defeat to Clear Spring.

Broadfording leads the Tri-State area with 64 goals, averaging 4.57 per game. Grace is tied with Washington for second in the area with 49 goals and a 3.77 average. Where the Knights have the advantage is on defense, where they've given up just six goals (0.46 per game) compared to 20 allowed by the Lions (1.43 per game).

Girls soccer

STREAKING HUBS: North Hagerstown's domination of Washington County extends beyond its six straight titles at the county tournament. The Hubs haven't been defeated by a county opponent in nearly five years, since they fell 4-1 to Smithsburg in a regular-season game on Oct. 12, 2004.

FAB FROSH: Before the season started, Saint James coach Ted Camp said freshman forward Mary-Kate Afzali "could be something really special."

He was right.

Through the first eight games of her high school career, Afzali has seven goals and an assist as she's averaging a county-best 1.88 points per game.


How much can you learn from one full day of MVAL Antietam action?

Last Thursday, the answer was: Quite a lot.

Each of the six teams played their league openers, with Smithsburg (7-0, 2-0), North Hagerstown (7-0, 1-0) and Clear Spring (5-1, 1-0) earning sweeps. The Hubs took down rival South Hagerstown (3-4, 0-2), the Leopards swept Boonsboro (3-4, 1-1) and the Blazers defeated Williamsport (2-5, 0-2).

It certainly appears to be a three-team race for the title this season. If it is, the key dates will be:

* Oct. 8 -- Clear Spring at Smithsburg.

* Oct. 15 -- North Hagerstown at Clear Spring.

* Oct. 27 -- Smithsburg at North Hagerstown.


Saint James' Mike Brooks, an assistant football coach, will miss Saturday's game against Potomac School.

He'll be back on old stomping grounds at Cazenovia College in upstate New York, as one of three alumni inducted into the school's Hall of Fame during ceremonies Saturday evening. Brooks is a 2001 graduate.

Brooks, also the Saints' athletic director and head boys basketball coach, is listed throughout the Cazenovia record book in basketball.

He was the team's most valuable player in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, and is fifth in career scoring with 1,228 points in 91 games. His single-game career high was 37 points against Ithaca College, and he still holds the record for most field goals made (16) in one game against Hampshire College.

Brooks also is in the top five in career field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, rebounds and assists.

Cross country

Twenty-five schools from Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia are set to compete Saturday at the 32nd annual Frank Keyser Invitational on Boonsboro's 3-mile course.

The local schools include: Clear Spring, North Hagerstown, Smithsburg, South Hagerstown, Williamsport, Greencastle-Antrim, Musselman and host Boonsboro.

The schedule is: 10 a.m. -- small-school girls; 10:30 -- large-school girls; 11 -- small-school boys; 11:30 -- large-school boys; 12 -- JV small-school boys; 12:10 -- JV small-school girls; 12:55 -- JV large-school boys; 1:05 -- JV large-school girls.

Both course records were set last year, as Williamsport's Michael Lilley set the boys mark at 15:18 and Thomas Johnson's Stephanie Bryan set the girls record at 18:37.


Postseason play begins with the West Virginia state tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday at Wheeling's Oglebay Resort.

The Jefferson team, along with Washington's Ryan Mumaw and Hedgesville's Zach Von-Gerdorff, will participate in the event.

Jefferson qualified with a second-place stroke total of 331 in the region tournament. The Cougars are led by Jamie Richard's 39.9 stroke average and will also rely heavily on Chris Payne, Travis Metz and Allie Strider.

In Pennsylvania, the Mid-Penn Conference boys tournament is Oct. 9 at Range End Golf Club in Dillsburg. The MPC girls will play Oct. 10 at Cumberland Golf Club. The District 3 team tournament will be played Oct. 13, and the boys/girls medal tournament will be Oct. 16-17, both at Briarwood Country Club.

Those coming out of District 3 will try to qualify for the Oct. 26-27 state tournament through the PIAA East Regions, set for Oct. 20 at Golden Oaks.

-- Assistant sports editor Andrew Mason and staff writers Dan Kauffman and Tim Koelble contributed to this notebook.

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