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Gaels send record in right direction

September 22, 2010|By JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG -- St. Maria Goretti boys soccer coach Tristan Longnecker proudly proclaimed the Gaels were entering Tuesday's game with a 4-4-4 record.

He had a choice on which one of the 4s would become a 5.

"It better be the first one," Longnecker said.

He got his wish. The Gaels turned up the pressure in the second half to pull out a 2-1 victory over Smithsburg in a Washington County match.

"In the second half, we started to play as aggressive as we could," Longnecker said. "We generally are more of a control possession team. In the first half, they were winning most of the 50-50 balls, putting us back on our heels. So, we countered with our aggressiveness in the second half by going more aggressive to the ball. We finally penetrated through their defense."

Goretti goalkeeper John Winalski proved to be a strong back line to the defense, stopping seven of eight Smithsburg shots.

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"It was a great win," Winalski said. "We came out in the second half and we really turned on the heat. At halftime, the coach definitely gave us the motivation that we needed. I just came out here and I did what I have to do. I was able to make a few good blocks on the shots."

"I have been playing goalie for eight years. I know what my role is."

Goretti (5-4-4) took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute when Rodrigo Reyna scored by going the middle off a pass from Nick Buckner.

Smithsburg (2-4) tied the game at 1-1 in the 25th minute on midfielder Kevin Gibson's goal from the left side off an assist by Adler Garrett to lead to a halftime tie.

The Gaels notched the winning goal in the 58th minute as Thomas Blake fired home an unassisted goal from the right side.

"We just didn't get the ball to go our way when the game was on the line," Smithsburg coach Paul Newman said. "We just couldn't come back. It was a well-played game by both sides. We just made one more mistake than they did. Goretti played with a lot of pace. They had a couple of players that really handled the ball well."

The Gaels outshot the Leopards, 14-10.

"The team is playing exceptionally well," Longnecker said. "We have been playing strong in the last two weeks. Our school has only 226 students and this school is three times the size of us. I'm very proud of the way that we have played against the teams that are significantly larger."

Goretti scored five second-half goals to collect a 6-0 victory in the JV match.

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