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Prep Soccer: Wildcats pitch two playoff shutouts

November 01, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — Williamsport went 2-for-2 in the Maryland Class 2A West soccer quarterfinals at North Hagerstown’s Mike Callas Stadium on Thursday.

The Wildcats did it in fashion with a pair of shutouts. In the opener, the boys defeated Century, 2-0. The girls followed with a 4-0 whitewashing of Walkersville.

For the Williamsport boys, the victory means a quick turnaround in the weather-delayed playoffs as schools try to catch up on the schedule. The No. 3-seed Wildcats (10-4) will be on the road Friday night at No. 2-seed Liberty at 5.

The girls have a day off before returning to action Saturday at home against No. 3-seed Oakdale at a time to be announced today, but most likely in mid-afternoon.

* “It took us about 20 minutes to find our feet,” Wildcats boys coach Chris Downs said. “When we did, we started to get some chances. Early on, we let (Century) dictate.”

Neither team found the net in the first half, and it took a strong defensive effort on the Wildcats’ part to keep Century (8-5-2) from denting the scoreboard.

“I told the kids at halftime I did not want a penalty kick situation,” Downs said.

The Knights peppered 13 first-half shots and forced Williamsport keeper Corey Ellis to make six saves. He made six more in the second half for 12 in all.

Williamsport missed on two scoring opportunities in the first half, but didn’t waste the opportunity to put a number on the board in the second half.

Heading down the right side, Owen Marx took dead aim and rifled a shot into the net in the 46th minute, his 12th goal of the year, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

“(Marx) is finding his groove,” Downs said. “Defenses have to account for him.”

The Wildcats just missed on two chances to score before they came up with the biggest defensive stops of the game — with a little help from the iron.

In the 68th minute, Century’s Christopher Herbert slapped a shot from 12 yards that went off the right post.

One minute later, Colin Serio stood alone in front of Ellis, who made another save as part of his third shutout.

Coming back down the field, Marx partially whiffed on a shot that rolled toward Ryan Schnurr just inside the 18-yard box to the right. Schnurr moved to the left and sent a screamer into the net for his first goal of the year.

“(Schnurr) has been feeding everyone with assists, but I told him in school today he was going to score,” Downs said. “He bent his foot into that one.”

The Wildcats will face a formidable foe Friday night in Liberty (12-2) — a 3-0 winner over Poolesville on Wednesday.

“We feel we can go there and give them a run,” Downs said.

* The Wildcats’ girls wasted no time establishing control against Walkersville.

Williamsport (12-2-1) spent most of the opening minutes in the Lions’ side of the field and converted opportunities twice in the first 14 minutes.

In the seventh minute, Ashley Likely knocked a shot into the net from 8 yards for her 11th goal of the year and a 1-0 lead.

In the 14th minute, Lizzy Willis tallied her sixth goal of the season with a shot from the left off Walkersville keeper Elizabeth Hanner, who got a hand on the ball but let it roll past her and into the net.

Walkersville challenged off a corner kick for the Lions’ best scoring opportunity of the game in the 29th minute, but Wildcats keeper Julia Price made the stop on the way to posting her seventh shutout of the year.

“We had the early goals but still had to find our rhythm,” Wildcats coach Tim Salvagno said. “We scored early but got too content the rest of the half.”

Williamsport scored twice in the second half. Likely tallied her second goal in the 55th minute off a cross from Lauren Johnson. In the 61st minute, Haley Carter was in the right spot as she knocked in a loose ball in front of the net for a 4-0 lead.

Things won’t be any easier for the No. 2-seed Wildcats on Saturday, going against Oakdale (10-1-2).

“We’ve waited for them all year,” Salvagno said. “They are one of the best 2A teams and we think we can go a full 80 minutes and play with them.”

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