Boys Soccer: Garrett's hat trick lifts up Leopards

October 26, 2012|By CURT HORNBECKER |

SMITHSBURG — Considering the Smithsburg boys soccer team hasn’t scored more than three goals in any game all season, hat tricks have been a rare occurrence.

That made Adler Garrett’s feat Friday night that much more special.

The Leopards’ senior striker accounted for all three goals as Smithsburg topped Southern Garrett 3-2 in the first round of the Maryland Class 1A West playoffs.

“It feels good, especially after the season we’ve had,” said Garrett. “It feels good to get a big win, and hopefully we can continue this through the playoffs.”

After struggling through a 2-13 season, the Leopards will travel to Allegany on Monday or Tuesday — at least, as long as the weather permits it.

Garrett scored the game-winner in the 60th minute on a Ryan Bolton assist.

“Ryan played a great ball, and I saw the keeper close to the near post,” said Garrett. “I just put it top shelf at the far post.”

Until then, neither team was able to establish control of the match.

Smithsburg scored first when Garrett took a cross from Marshall Keely and slipped a shot just beyond the reach of goalkeeper Kevin Helbig in the 13th minute.

The Rams (2-9) regained the momentum on an Alex Fike goal in the 29th minute on an assist from Austin Graham.

But Garrett made it 2-1 10 minutes later on a penalty kick.

Southern had several other opportunities to score in the first half but was unable to capitalize.

“That’s been our struggle all year, putting the ball into the goal,” said Rams coach Joe Facciolli.

But Brandon Scheffel tied it at 2 in the 57th minute after gaining control in a crowd in front of the net, scoring beyond Smithsburg keeper Zach Schaeffer.

After Garrett’s winning score, the Leopards become much more aggressive, taking seven shots on goal to just two for Southern.

“If we could put together 80 good minutes, we could give anybody a run for their money,” said Smithsburg coach Paul Newman. “When we play with a lot of energy, things really work well for us.”

With just two wins on the season, this was clearly the biggest victory of the year for the Leopards.

“This was a big win for us,” said Newman. “We’ve played better this year and didn’t get the rewards. It’s good to see them get the rewards tonight.”

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