Girls Soccer: Wildcats' victory over Leopards became Likely

October 18, 2012|By ANDREW MASON |
  • Williamsport's Carly Robinson, right, blocks off Smithsburg's Dominique Dilandro to get to the ball on Thursday during the first half of the Wildcats' 1-0 victory.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT — The Williamsport girls soccer team didn’t stay down for long.

Five days after falling 1-0 to Boonsboro in the final of the Washington County tournament — in what Williamsport’s Tim Salvagno called “the most disappointing game I’ve coached” — the Wildcats finished their regular season on a rainy Thursday night at home with one of their biggest victories in years.

Williamsport defeated Smithsburg 1-0 to capture the MVAL Antietam title, completing a 7-0 run through the conference while handing the Leopards (6-5-2, 3-1-2) their first Antietam loss.

“You know what? It feels good,” said Salvagno, whose team improved to 11-2-1 overall heading into next week’s Maryland Class 2A West region playoffs. “The girls deserve it. Over the past three seasons, you couldn’t find a group of girls who’ve worked harder.

“The main thing was getting that monkey off our back, performing in a game that matters.”

Ashley Likely broke a scoreless tie in the 47th minute, scoring off an assist by Lauren Johnson.

“There was like a little wrestle in the box, it bounced off the goalie and I put it in,” said Likely of her team-high 10th goal of the season. “I felt relieved. I knew it was coming. I just had to find that time, and it finally came.

“But we still knew we had to keep the pressure up and keep on going.”

The Wildcats maintained control the rest of the way. They outshot the Leopards 8-0 in the second half and 13-3 for the game. Each team had three corner kicks — all of Smithsburg’s coming in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Williamsport keeper Julia Price made two saves for the shutout, while Corinne Burk finished with five saves for Smithsburg.

“Williamsport played a great game tonight,” Smithsburg coach Victor Della Mea said. “They showed why they’re MVAL champions.”

The Leopards were without standout sophomore Sarah Duckworth in the second half after she suffered an ankle injury late in the first half.

“That hurt because it took away a target up top and a focal point of our offense,” Della Mea said. “We could have played her, but we want to make sure she’s 100 percent ready for the postseason.”

It’s been a tough week for the Leopards, who might be stronger for it as they prepare for the Class 1A West playoffs. On Monday, they fell 3-1 to Manchester Valley, last year’s 1A state champion. On Tuesday, they lost 3-0 to Middletown, last year’s 2A state champ. And on Thursday, they were edged by this year’s MVAL Antietam champs.

“It’s just luck of the draw,” said Della Mea of the schedule. “It’s only going to make us stronger as the postseason approaches.”

JV: Williamsport, 1-0.

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