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Blazers down but not out

Clear Spring wins after losing senior star for season

September 08, 2010|By CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent
  • Clear Spring's Alyssa Brandt, top, collides with St. Maria Goretti goalkeeper Colleen Costello in the first half Tuesday evening.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

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CLEAR SPRING -- "I ain't missing you at all," is the refrain from John Waite's No. 1 hit from 1984. And while the Clear Spring girls soccer team misses its top offensive threat, it wasn't obvious in the Blazers' 2-0 win over St. Maria Goretti on Tuesday.

Senior Jessica Dice, an All-Washington County first-team midfielder last year, who likely suffered a torn ACL Saturday in the semifinals of the Washington County Tournament (a 1-0 loss to Boonsboro), will be out for the remainder of the season. But Megan Crowl and Jessica Barnhart picked up the slack with a goal apiece -- and the Blazers' defense smothered the Gaels -- to dispatch Goretti (0-4).

"I expected to maybe put a few more goals into the net," said Clear Spring coach Brian Albert. "(But the Gaels) were more physical than I expected, and they played a really good game."

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Clearly the more aggressive team, Clear Spring (2-1) scored its first goal in the 30th minute when Crowl headed the ball into the net after Goretti keeper Colleen Costello deflected one of the Blazers' 24 shots on goal.

Goretti coach Greg Noe said he was not at all surprised with the Blazers' defensive effort.

"Any time we're traveling to any of these larger schools in the area, we're going to see tough defense," said Noe. "And like I told the girls after the game, we have to find a way to beat it."

The Blazers made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute when Barnhart took a centering pass from Alyssa Brandt and pushed it past Costello from 15 yards out.

"I think we really picked it up in the middle," said Albert. "Jessica Barnhart stepped it up, and we're going to be looking for her to do that with Dice out for the year."

Despite allowing a pair of goals, Costello turned in a stellar performance, with 21 saves.

Disappointed with the outcome, Noe told his players after the game that they need to find a way to win games in which they hold their opponent to one or two goals.

"We're running a different configuration than these girls have run the last few years, so we have not found a rhythm yet," said Noe. "We have some good players, but until they can find a rhythm we're going to find ourselves on the short end of these games."

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