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County boys soccer tournament: First goal solves puzzle for Wildcats

September 02, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • Williamsport's Nicholas Myers leaps for a header during Friday's game against Clear Spring in the first round of the Washington County Public Schools boys soccer tournament at School Stadium.
By Chris Tilley/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Williamsport boys soccer coach Chris Downs told his team at halftime that “if you get one goal, the lid will come off.”

His words proved prophetic.

Cody Gardenhour scored the first of his two goals in the 58th minute to erase a 1-0 deficit. That started Williamsport’s run of three goals in 11 minutes for a 3-1 victory over Clear Spring in the first game of the first round of the Washington County Public Schools Tournament on Friday evening at South Hagerstown.

“I’m not sure we’d have done that last year, but we picked ourselves off the mat,” Downs said. “Cody, I can’t say enough about him. He knew he was going to have to be the one to do it, and that’s why he’s a captain.”

Clear Spring (0-1) took the lead in the 34th minute after a Blazer was pulled down in the 18-yard box while players fought for position on a corner kick. Bradlee Mills calmly slotted the penalty kick inside the right post past Williamsport keeper Alex Aleshire.

The Wildcats (1-0) controlled the majority of play, yet managed just two shots on goal through the first 57 minutes.

“Overall, we did well,” Blazers coach Mark Myers said. “They just had a couple breakaways where we got tired and didn’t have the speed to defend them.”

A bad Clear Spring clearance set up Williamsport’s equalizer. Colton Myers stepped in front of the clearance, then found Gardenhour on a run up the middle. Gardenhour got position on his defender and chipped the ball past Blazers keeper Scott Hovermale.

Two minutes later, the Wildcats were awarded a penalty kick when Tiago DeSouza was taken down while dribbling amidst a crowd of at least five Blazers. Gardenhour got Hovermale to dive to his left and shot the other way for a 2-1 lead.

Williamsport finished the scoring with a beautiful team goal in the 68th minute. From central midfield, Quentin Watson sent a ball up the left side for Gardenhour, whose first touch beat his defender. Gardenhour then sent a low cross to DeSouza, who redirected the ball into the goal.

“Getting three goals against Clear Spring — in the second half, no less — that’s a good start for us,” Downs said.

The Blazers lost defenders Cory Caudell (cramps) and Theo Meyers (ankle) in the final 20 minutes and had to move attacking players back, which took away much of their attack late.

“It was a lot of physical play that didn’t get called in the first half, and then it got called in the second half and it threw us off,” Mark Myers said.

* Josh Haden scored twice as Boonsboro rallied to defeat Smithsburg 3-2 in a back-and-forth battle.

Trailing 2-1 at halftime, the Warriors (1-0) were awarded a penalty kick midway through the second half that Connor Prunty converted. Then with about seven minutes left, Haden took a pass from Charles Anoman and put home the winner.

Boonsboro played the final minutes down a man after a red card, but held on.

Haden scored on another assist by Anoman early in the first half to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead, but Smithsburg (0-1) tallied twice to go ahead. Clayton Layman set up Adler Garrett’s goal midway through the first half, then Garrett set up Layman for a goal 10 minutes before halftime.

Devin Bellerive made 12 saves for Boonsboro. Nick Porter made seven saves for Smithsburg.

* In the late game, North Hagerstown beat South Hagerstown on penalty kicks after the rivals played to a 2-2 draw. The Hubs won the shootout, 5-4.

Ryan Byard and Osman Ramizov scored goals for North (1-0), with assists by Niklas Grahn and Yusuf Bodirov.

KB Ofosu-Ameyaw and Oscar Lopez scored for South (0-1).

* Today’s schedule at Mike Callas Stadium: Fifth-place game, Smithsburg vs. Clear Spring, 4 p.m.; first semifinal, Boonsboro vs. North Hagerstown, 6; second semifinal, Williamsport vs. South Hagerstown, 8.

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