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Clear Spring's late rally falls short

October 26, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

FREDERICK, Md. -- Clear Spring girls soccer coach Brian Albert saw enough from his team Monday night to be slightly encouraged heading into the Maryland Class 1A West playoffs.

"If we keep playing like we did in the second half, I'll be happy," Albert said. "We never gave up and that's what this team is all about."

Clear Spring shook off an unimpressive first half and put together a solid second half to make a run against Frederick. But the Blazers came up shy as they dropped a 3-2 decision in their regular-season finale.

The Blazers were outshot 9-1 in the first half and trailed 3-0 after 40 minutes before making halftime adjustments in an attempt to swing the momentum in their favor. The changes were effective, just not enough to climb from the hole they created.

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"In the first half we were getting beat to every ball, both on the ground and in the air," Albert said. "We changed formations in the second half and went with a little more speed up top. It seemed to change things a little bit."

Clear Spring finally cracked the scoreboard in the 55th minute after junior forward Megan Crowl was fouled in the box. Fellow junior Jessica Dice was chosen to take the penalty shot, and she stuck it past Frederick goalie Kelsey Thomas to cut the deficit to 3-1.

A little more than two minutes later, the Blazers struck again when Miranda Kearney flew into the box, got the ball on a bounce and flicked it past Thomas to make it 3-2.

Clear Spring (5-7-1) controlled possession for the first 25 minutes of the second half and held a 7-5 edge in shots on goal after halftime. But after closing to within one goal, they had only one more legitimate scoring opportunity.

"At times we have trouble finishing," Albert said. "We need to work on marking and hustling to the ball more."

Sophomore forward Jasmine Dao led the Cadets (3-9) with two goals and an assist, while Kelsey Dyson added a goal and an assist.

Clear Spring will host Williamsport in the first round of the playoffs Friday, beginning at 6.

JV: Clear Spring, 1-0.

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