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Girls Soccer: DiLandro expects unexpected to lift Leopards to win

November 01, 2012|By DANIEL KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • Boonsboro's Kaitlyn Ridenour gets to the ball first to head it away from Smithsburg's Sarah Duckworth during the second half of the Leopards' playoff win.
by Staff Photographer Ric Dugan

HAGERSTOWN — CORRECTION: Due to a reporter's error, a Smithsburg player was misidentified. Elyse Koterwas assisted on Dominique DiLandro's goal. The Herald-Mail apologizes for the error.

Just when Wednesday’s Maryland Class 1A West girls soccer quarterfinal between Smithsburg and Boonsboro seemed destined for penalty kicks, Leopards senior Dominique DiLandro ended it with a bolt from her right foot.

In the seventh minute of the second overtime, Elyse Koterwas' corner kick from the left side wound up bouncing out to DiLandro at the top right part of the penalty box. DiLandro drove a curling shot into the top left side of the goal, and Smithsburg celebrated a 1-0 victory at Mike Callas Stadium.

“I knew that this probably was the chance to win the game, that we wouldn’t get a lot more opportunities,” said DiLandro. “We’ve run that play a lot in practice and it never bounces out that much. I knew I was where I needed to be, but I didn’t expect it.”

Neither did Boonsboro (8-4-4), the reigning Washington County Public Schools Tournament champion. The Warriors held an 11-6 edge in shots and controlled much of the possession after the opening minutes, but failed to produce many quality scoring opportunities.

“Obviously, we’d like to create more chances in the final third, and get more people into the box to finish them,” Boonsboro coach Chris Lantz said. “It sometimes happens that you dominate possession and lose on one chance.”

Until DiLandro’s strike, the two teams had played 197 minutes of scoreless soccer this season. Smithsburg (8-5-2) and Boonsboro played to a scoreless draw in a regular-season battle on Sept. 20, and the Leopards’ defense kept the Warriors off the scoreboard again Wednesday.

“The defense has come up big all season,” Smithsburg coach Victor Della Mea said. “They’re tried and tested. It’s risky playing a back three (Paige Kutchey, Grace Clark and Emma Gerhold), but they’ve done it all season.

“Boonsboro played a magnificent game and showed why they’re the county champ and one of the best teams in Western Maryland. Our girls are growing as a group and they withstood the pressure for 100 minutes.”

Smithsburg, the fifth seed, will face the winner between No. 1 Mountain Ridge and No. 9 Allegany, which has yet to be played.

Before DiLandro’s goal, the Leopards had the best chance of the game in the 20th minute. Clark took a free kick from 23 yards out on the right side, and her shot appeared destined for the top left corner before Boonsboro goalie Bre Springer made a fantastic save, going high to stop the shot and then pouncing on the rebound near the goal line.

“It’s going to take a special ball to beat Bre,” Della Mea said, “and (DiLandro) hit it.”

Boonsboro’s best chance came in the second minute of the second overtime. Emily Cronise sent a long pass through the middle that Rachel Holmes and Smithsburg goalie Corinne Burk raced to get to. Holmes beat Burk to it, but Burk had closed down the angle enough that all Holmes could do with the bouncing pass was kick it up and over Burk and the crossbar.

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