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North girls prove they're breed apart, win county tourney title

September 17, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown's Elizabeth Balog (right) receives congratulations from teammate Morgan Wilcox after scoring the only goal in Washington County Public School Tournament final.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Even as the underdog, North Hagerstown’s girls soccer team still is a formidable foe in the Washington County Public Schools Tournament.

Elizabeth Balog’s goal in the seventh minute stood up as the Hubs knocked off Williamsport 1-0 on Saturday night for their eighth county title in their 11th straight trip to the final.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am,” North coach Rick Aleshire said. “We weren’t expected to do this. It’s the first year we’ve been underdogs, so this one feels good.”

Williamsport (3-2) appeared to take a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Victoria Key’s corner kick from the right side went through North goalie Emily Smith’s hands and off other Hubs defenders into the goal. But it was waved off because  Smith was interfered with while trying to make the stop.

“Part of the beauty of the game is little calls and decisions can affect the outcome,” Wildcats coach Tim Salvagno said. “A lot of times, that call goes our way.”

The Hubs (3-1) then took the lead in the seventh minute when Bri Steich found Elizabeth Balog in the middle and Balog found the net.

The Wildcats controlled most of the possession — much of it in North’s half — but couldn’t break through before halftime as the Hubs’ defense held firm.

“Our back line was super,” Aleshire said. “They came of age tonight. ... We knew (Williamsport) wouldn’t take outside shots, so we just had to contain them.”

North spent much of the first 20 minutes of the second half in Williamsport’s end, with Logann Braun coming close on a long-range effort in the 61st minute.

The Wildcats surged in the final 15 minutes, with Casey Arnone rattling the crossbar in the 68th minute. That was as close as Williamsport came to an equalizer.

Williamsport was seeking its first county title since winning the first tournament in 1999.

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