Wildcats take out Blazers

October 31, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

CLEAR SPRING -- Williamsport's memory of last year's 3-2 double-overtime, season-ending loss to Clear Spring still lingered when the teams met again in the first round of the Maryland Class 1A West girls soccer playoffs Friday evening.

"I was very nervous because I didn't want to lose to them again," Williamsport junior Amber Shumaker said.

After 80 minutes of play, she and the Wildcats could finally relax, as they reversed last year's score with a 3-2 victory over the Blazers.

"It's a great win for us. We're super excited," Williamsport coach Jen Fields said. "We haven't won a playoff game in a while, since my seniors were freshmen.

"We have a young team, and they put a lot of heart on the line tonight for the seniors."

Miranda Kearney scored both goals for Clear Spring (5-8-1), including an electrifier in the 10th minute. After Williamsport goalie Julia Price stopped a shot by Jessica Dice, a charging Kearney headed in the deflection for a 1-0 Blazers lead.


"We've been preaching all year, 'Follow your shots,'" Clear Spring coach Brian Albert said. "Miranda put it in the net, and we had the spark going.

"I'm thinking, 'Just keep it up and don't let down.' We held Williamsport for a while, but then we had that lull for about 10 minutes and let them back in."

A goal by Lenzie Weicht tied the game at 1-1 in the 30th minute, and a goal by Shumaker in the 37th minute gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.

"I knew we could come back," Shumaker said. "We worked all season to get to here, and we weren't going to let it go that easily."

Williamsport (8-7) all but sealed the win in the 74th minute, when Heather Hilliard scored on an assist from Brittany Weaver for a 3-1 advantage.

With less than a minute remaining, Kearney scored her second goal on the final shot of the game.

"We show flashes of brilliance, but we can't put 80 minutes of soccer together. But we're real young, too," said Albert, who only started one senior Friday.

The Wildcats outshot the Blazers, 16-13. Price had eight saves for Williamsport, while Tori Albert had 12 for Clear Spring.

The Wildcats will play in the quarterfinals Tuesday evening at Northern Garrett (12-2).

"We're going to take this win, and we're going to build on it," Fields said. "We have a lot of work to prepare for the next game. Northern Garrett is tough. It's going to be a challenge."

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