2011 All-County Boys Soccer: Aleshire a saver for 'Cats

December 08, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN |
  • Williamsport senior goalkeeper Alex Aleshire is the 2011 Herald-Mail Washington County Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Joe Crocetta, Joe Crocetta

In soccer, goals are celebrated and goal scorers revered.

But the truth is, stopping goals is just as important as scoring them.

And when it comes to stopping goals, very few Washington County players have ever had as good a season as Williamsport senior Alex Aleshire — The Herald-Mail’s 2011 All-County Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

“Having played the position, he’s become one of the most complete players I’ve ever seen,” Wildcats coach Chris Downs said. “(He has) total control of his box, he’s a good communicator and a great shot stopper. I’ve seen plenty of goalkeepers with one or two of those, but I haven’t seen one with all three in a very long time.”

Aleshire, a three-time All-County First Team honoree, allowed just 10 goals in 16 games this season — a 0.63 goals-against average — as Williamsport finished 10-4-2. He was named to the Maryland All-State team as an honorable mention selection.

Aleshire was even better against county competition, allowing just three goals in nine games (a 0.33 goals-against average) as the Wildcats went 6-1-2. The only loss came to North Hagerstown in a penalty shootout after a scoreless draw in the Washington County Public Schools Tournament final.

Making Aleshire’s performance more impressive was the inexperience of Williamsport’s back line.

“This year in particular, at any one given point, we had anywhere from three to four sophomores and a freshman on the field,” Downs said.

“I was trying to get the chemistry back,” Aleshire said. “After losing someone like Connor Arnone at sweeper position, it’s hard to find a replacement for that, but (Nicholas) Sauble stepped up back there and Chad Ridenour is a rock. ... A lot of my success came from my defense. It was just getting the feel for it, and they stepped up big in big games whenever we needed them.”

Two things about Aleshire stood out: His ability to defend crosses — a very difficult skill for goalkeepers — and his passion and intensity.

“What’s improved the most is probably my command and coming out and getting balls in the air,” Aleshire said. “There was a lot of work on that. ... My brother Chris gave me some advice at the beginning of the season about crosses. He said if you’re going to go, you better go. If you hesitate, you’re going to be scored on.”

As for that passion and intensity? “He really learned how to control that this year,” Downs said. “It’s always been his weakness and we’ve talked about that a lot. We made him a captain this year and it helped because he had to go into a teaching role and support those guys. For him, it was huge progress.”

Joining Aleshire on The Herald-Mail All-County Boys Soccer First Team are:

Thomas Blake, St. Maria Goretti

Senior forward had 15 goals and nine assists for the Gaels and was named to the IPSL first team.

Ryan Byard, North Hagerstown

Junior midfielder scored 10 goals for the Hubs and was named to the MVAL Antietam first team.

Cody Gardenhour, Williamsport

Senior forward had seven goals and eight assists for the Wildcats and was named to the MVAL Antietam first team.

Adler Garrett, Smithsburg

Junior forward led county public schools players with 15 goals and added six assists. An MVAL Antietam second-team honoree.

Seung Gon Yoo, Saint James

Junior forward scored 11 of the Saints’ 18 total goals this season and was an IPSL first-team honoree.

Josh Haden, Boonsboro

Warriors senior played all over the field and finished with two goals and five assists. An MVAL Antietam first-team honoree.

Clayton Layman, Smithsburg

Senior midfielder finished with eight goals and six assists for the Leopards as was named to the MVAL Antietam first team.

Ben Louderback, Saint James

The Saints’ senior defender was named to the Coaches All-County first team.

KB Ofosu-Ameyaw, South Hagerstown

Senior forward scored six goals for the Rebels and was an MVAL Antietam first-team honoree.

Mateo Pelja, St. Maria Goretti

Senior midfielder scored 12 goals for the Gaels and was named to the IPSL first team.

Osman Ramizov, North Hagerstown

Senior forward finished with four goals and six assists for the Hubs and was named to the MVAL Antietam first team.

Chad Ridenour, Williamsport

Senior defender was a rock in front of Aleshire and was named to the MVAL Antietam first team.

Andrew Torres, Broadfording

Senior forward, the 2010 Herald-Mail Player of the Year, had another sensational season with 46 goals and nine assists for the Lions.

Ralph Weaver, Clear Spring

Senior forward had 10 goals and five assists for the Blazers. An MVAL Antietam first-team honoree.

Tiago DeSouza    So.    M    Williamsport
Niklas Grahn    Sr.    M    North Hagerstown
Aaron Hawk    Sr.    D    St. Maria Goretti
Jonathan Henesy    So.    M    Clear Spring
Matt Hetzer    Sr.    D    North Hagerstown
Greg Horning    Sr.    M    Smithsburg
Oscar Lopez    So.    M    South Hagerstown
Colton Myers    Jr.    M    Williamsport
Max Ober    Jr.    GK    North Hagerstown
Kevin Proctor    Jr.    M    St. Maria Goretti
Connor Prunty    Fr.    M    Boonsboro
Rodrigo Reyna    Sr.    M    St. Maria Goretti
Thomas Rocca    Jr.    D    Saint James
Aaron Rodgers    Sr.    D    South Hagerstown
Nicholas Sauble    Jr.    D    Williamsport
Mark Taggart    Sr.    F    Heritage Academy

Boonsboro — Charles Anoman, Devyn Bellerive, Brandon Redman. Broadfording — Michael Torres. Clear Spring — Nicholas Brandt, C.J. Elwood. Grace Academy — Daniel Frederickson, Jeremiah House, Peter Hykes. Heritage Academy — Bryce Nigh, Collin Poyle, Christian Strickler, Josh Taggart. North Hagerstown — Yusuf Bodirov, Caset Goodrich, Conner Troxell, Wesley Wilson. Saint James — Jordan Howard, James Marshall, Thomas Rocca. Smithsburg — Kevin Gibson, Haroon Pasha, Nick Porter. South Hagerstown — Mason Guillory, Alvin Muthoka, Joe Rohr. St. Maria Goretti — Casey Bartholomew, Drew Katrina, Daniel Lopes, John Winalski, Clarence Wroblewski. Williamsport — Owen Marx, Nicholas Myers.

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