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Girls Soccer: Leopards get the one goal they need

October 23, 2012|By CURT HORNBECKER | curt.hornbecker@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG — Despite registering five incredible saves, it’s the one that got away that Clear Spring goalkeeper Tori Albert, no doubt, laments.

That was all the Smithsburg girls soccer team needed Tuesday to claim a 1-0 MVAL Antietam victory, record its seventh shutout of the season and gain some momentum entering the Maryland Class 1A West playoffs.

“She kept us in the game. Our defense kept us in the game,” said Clear Spring coach Brian Albert (Tori’s father), of the Blazers four-year starter. “(Smithsburg) just kept trying to play the ball over the top, and our defense held up pretty well.”

After a defense-dominated first half that saw a total of just four shots on goal, the Leopards (7-5-2, 4-1-2) picked things up at the offensive end. But the Blazers keeper was up to the task for the most part, making a pair of diving stops in one sequence which led to a Smithsburg corner kick.

Sarah Duckworth took Elyse Koterwas’ corner kick and headed it out of Albert’s reach in the upper left corner of the net for the game’s only score.

“In the second half, we started expressing ourselves a little better offensively,” said Leopards coach Victor Della Mea. “We were a lot more fluid in the second half.”

But in the end, it was a smothering Smithburg defense that doomed the Blazers (8-6, 3-4).

“The girls were really solid in the back, tonight,” said Della Mea. “We really limited their pressure across the board. (Clear Spring) threatened a lot, but our defense held stout.”

Things seemed to start going south for the Blazers when sophomore Lexi Albert left the game due to injury.

“We really lost control of the midfield (at that point),” said Brian Albert. “We’ve had trouble scoring all year. We’ve outscored our opponents (for the year), but we’ve lost a few close matches.”

If not for Tori Albert in goal for Clear Spring, this might not have been one of those close losses.

“I think you saw two of the best keepers in Washington County tonight,” said Della Mea. “(Tori Albert) kept several sure-fire goals against any other keeper out of the goal.”

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