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Girls Soccer: Underdog Warriors earn their pedigree with upset of Wildcats

October 13, 2012|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The Boonsboro Warriors embraced the role of underdogs Saturday afternoon against the Williamsport Wildcats in the final of the Washington County Girls Soccer Tournament at South Hagerstown.

“We came in with the mentality that we had absolutely nothing to lose,” Boonsboro assistant coach Austin Gray said.

And there was much to be gained.

Michaela Grove scored the lone goal of the game in the 14th minute, and the Warriors held on to defeat the favored Wildcats 1-0 for their second county title in program history. Boonsboro, which also was the county champion in 2010, improved to 6-1-4 this season while avenging its lone loss, a 2-1 setback to Williamsport on Sept. 25.

The Wildcats fell to 9-2-1.

“We just put it in the girls’ heads that we had to capitalize on every opportunity that we were given,” said Gray, who filled in Saturday for head coach Chris Lantz, who had a wedding to attend. “And fortunately we capitalized on that one chance.”

Moments after Williamsport goalkeeper Julia Price stopped a shot by Boonsboro’s Leah Cadigan in the 14th minute, Grove headed in the deflection for what proved to be the game winner.

Boonsboro’s defense took over from there, led by Emily Cronise, whom Gray called “the pulse of this team.”

“They were tough, and they were physical, and they executed well,” said Williamsport coach Tim Salvagno of the Warriors. “We didn’t create anything. Offensively, we just weren’t there.”

Williamsport — which had scored 40 goals this season, compared to Boonsboro’s 12, entering Saturday — outshot the Warriors 9-4, while Boonsboro had a 3-0 advantage in corner kicks. Warriors keeper Bre Springer made six saves for her county-best ninth shutout, while Price finished with three saves for the Wildcats.

“It definitely feels good,” Gray said. “(Salvagno) has built a heck of a program over there, and we knew we’d have to play our best game. Collectively, that’s our best 80 minutes of soccer we’ve played this season.”

It was more frustration for Williamsport, which also fell 1-0 in last year’s county final against North Hagerstown. The Wildcats haven’t been county champs since 1999.

“As a program, we haven’t been able to win big games. And to tell you the truth, that rides on my shoulders,” Salvagno said. “Boonsboro wanted it more than we did. I think that’s because they understand what it takes to get it. But we’ll bounce back, we’ll be all right. We’re disappointed, but I think we’re going to be able to learn from it.

“We know how to play the game. If we get our heads straight, we’ll do some big things in the playoffs.”

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