Catoctin girls top Leopards

October 06, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

THURMONT, Md. -- Catoctin girls soccer coach Gene Whitney watched his team score three well-orchestrated goals Tuesday night playing host to Smithsburg.

His favorite might have been the one that the Cougars allowed in the second half.

Freshman defender Elyse Koterwas sent a free kick into the box where it was headed beautifully by sophomore Rachel Poffenberger to pull Smithsburg within a goal at 3-2 with just under 27 minutes left.

While the Leopards wound up losing by that score, the underclassman-underclassman hookup was an encouraging sign -- even to the opponents.

"Smithsburg battled back in the second half and I think that was the best goal of the night," said Whitney of the Poffenberger goal -- her second of the evening. "In a year or two, with the youth that they have, they will be just fine."


The coming of age was premature Tuesday.

Poffenberger scored her first goal following a deflection in the 13th minute to give Smithsburg (2-7, 1-3 MVAL Antietam) a 1-0 lead.

Catoctin answered with three consecutive goals to take the lead for good.

The Cougars (5-2-1, 3-0) tied the game when Priscilla Olson found Sarah Baseley in the 16th minute and they took the lead with only a matter of seconds remaining in the first half when Tara Woelfel flicked the ball through for a 2-1 edge.

"I don't know if it gave them that much of an edge, it just emphasized our lack of organization in the game," said Smithsburg coach David Wilson.

"We weren't compact enough on defense -- the back line wasn't compact enough -- and it allowed them to make some plays," Wilson said.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Woelfel once again found the net to give the Cougars a 3-1 lead.

"The goal at the end of the first half helps, but I think what it typically does is deflate the other team," Whitney said.

Deflated they may have temporarilty been, but the Leopards wouldn't go without a fight. After a foul just outside the box, Koterwas lined up and bent the ball in front of the crowded goal where Poffenberger poked her head through to close the gap to 3-2.

Smithsburg had few opportunities in the final 25 minutes until a free kick from midfield with about one minute left. The Leopards pushed the ball deep but never got a good look at the goal.

Catoctin cleared the ball and time expired soon after.

"It's all very encouraging," Wilson said. "We have so many young players and all of them just play their hearts out. We've been so close in some of these games and I feel like we're on the cusp. We're just not there yet."

Melissa Swanson and Brooke Kennedy each had assists and Caroline Grossweiler recorded a pair of saves for Catoctin.

Morgan Moser tallied five saves for Smithsburg.

JV: Catoctin, 6-1.

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