North boys return to county final

September 03, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN |

HAGERSTOWN — Osman Ramizov scored both goals for North Hagerstown as the two-time defending Washington County Public Schools boys soccer tournament champions reached this year’s final with a 2-1 victory over Boonsboro in the first of two semifinals Saturday evening at Mike Callas Stadium.

The Hubs (2-0) controlled most of the play in the first half, finishing with an 8-2 edge in shots. They took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute on an early cross from left midfield by Niklas Grahn that was volleyed into the goal beautifully by Ramizov.

“We felt there was some space behind their back line we could play into,” North coach Glen Singer said. “Nik played a great ball in.”

The Hubs made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute when Ryan Byard’s hard left-footed shot went off Warriors keeper Devyn Bellerive and then the crossbar before Ramizov tucked it away.

North’s defense was stout, holding Boonsboro (1-1) to one shot in the second half -- but that shot made things interesting late.

In the 74th minute, a Warriors free kick into the Hubs’ 18-yard box was played intentionally by the raised arms of North defender Wesley Wilson, who was red carded. Connor Prunty scored on the ensuing penalty kick, but North held on in the final minutes while down a man.

“They’re fast, strong, smart, organized and a good side,” Boonsboro coach Michael Long said. “We were out of gas after the effort we gave last night.”

· Williamsport earned a date with North by beating South Hagerstown 4-0 in the second semifinal.

The Hubs and Wildcats will play for the title Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. at Mike Callas Stadium.

Cody Gardenhour gave Williamsport (1-0) a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute with a spectacular shot out of nothing. He got to a loose ball 20 yards out on the right side and sent it over South keeper Drake Kessell and into the top left of the goal.

In the 30th minute, Tiago DeSouza made a run in the middle before unleashing a shot off the crossbar. Ryan Schnurr followed with a shot off the bottom of the crossbar and just across the goal line.

Three minutes later, Owen Marx fed DeSouza up the right side, and he found the net for a 3-0 halftime lead.

“We started faster tonight, and I’m under no illusions, that’s a better South team than they showed,” Williamsport coach Chris Downs said. “We play at their place Thursday and they’re going to come at us hard.”

Brendon Colliflower’s header goal off Nicholas Myers’ corner kick made it 4-0 in the 73rd minute. Myers is the younger brother of Rebels coach Ryan Myers.

“We’re a lot better team than that,” South’s coach said. “Thursday night at South will be a much better representation of how we can play.”

The Rebels fell to 1-1.

· In the fifth-place game, C.J. Elwood’s header on a corner kick with three minutes left gave Clear Spring a 2-1 win over Smithsburg.

The Blazers (1-1) opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Ralph Weaver made a strong run through the Leopards’ defense up the left seam. Weaver’s shot was saved by Nick Porter, but Nicholas Brandt tapped in the rebound.

Smithsburg (0-2) found the equalizer in the 30th minute on a corner kick, when Clayton Layman’s drive toward the near post was headed in by Gregory Horning, who gave Zac Robertson no chance at making the save

The Blazers finally got the winner in the 77th minute when Bradly Mills’ corner kick was headed in by Elwood.

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