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Ritter's natural hat trick lifts North girls over Rebels

October 20, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

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    HAGERSTOWN -- The North Hagerstown girls soccer team tuned up for Friday night's MVAL Antietam Conference championship game against Catoctin with a 6-0 road victory over South Hagerstown on Tuesday.

    It was the Hubs' first game since Oct. 8.

    "This was a workout. This was good," said Katie Ritter, who scored the Hubs' first three goals in the first half. "We got our touch back."

    The game officially ended with about 11 minutes remaining on the clock, due to an undisclosed injury to South junior Jessica Sarno, who left the field in an ambulance.

    "It was just a precautionary measure," South coach Scott Buhrman said. "It appears that everything is OK."

    North, which outshot South 23-1, improved to 10-1-1 overall and 6-0 in the Antietam, while South fell to 1-10-1, 0-6.

    While North clearly is focused on Friday's 7:30 p.m. showdown with Catoctin (the only other unbeaten team in Antietam play) at Callas Stadium, the Hubs insisted that they didn't overlook the last-place Rebels.

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"It's North-South, so there's always some tension there," Ritter said.

"You have to take every game seriously," said Beth Wagner, who had a career night with two goals and an assist. "If you go in lightly, that's when you get beat."

Kelsey Smith scored the other goal for the Hubs and also had two assists.

North led 4-0 at halftime and then added goals in the 62nd and 67th minutes.

"I'm happy with my girls' effort," Buhrman said. "They honestly try. They truly do never give up. That speaks to their character.

"But North played a really good game, of course."

Juliann Tribett had 11 saves for South, while North keeper Lindsay Irving didn't have to make any stops in the shutout.

"I give South all the credit in the world," North coach Rick Aleshire said. "They come out and they play hard, every night."

The Hubs are the six-time reigning Washington County tournament champions and the defending Maryland 2A West region champs. Their next title could come Friday.

Aleshire said he is expecting a playoff-like atmosphere.

"It'll be a tough one with Catoctin," he said. "It should be a great matchup."

In Tuesday's JV game, North blanked South, 7-0.

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