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Girls Soccer: Miners shut out Leopards

November 03, 2012|By KEVIN SPRADLIN | Special to The Herald-Mail
  • Smithsburg junior Haley David (14) fights for the ball against Mountain Ridge senior Carlie Lewis (8) during Saturday's Maryland Class 1A West girls soccer semifinal.
By Kevin Spradlin/Special to The Herald-Mail

FROSTBURG, Md. — Smithsburg fans who arrived late to the girls soccer match between the Leopards and Mountain Ridge only had to look toward their own goal to know the game didn’t start well for the purple and gold.

It didn’t end well, either.

Sophomore goalkeeper Corinne Burk suffered an injury to her right shin less than three minutes into Smithsburg’s Maryland Class 1A West semifinal match at Mountain Ridge.

Before most fans had taken their seats, Leopards coach Victor Della Mea had inserted freshman backup Leah Ellis in front of the net.

“For a freshman to step into that situation … is quite impressive,” Della Mea said.

Ellis saw varsity action in only two games this season, and an aggressive Mountain Ridge offense took advantage of her inexperience and its own opportunities to pull away with a 3-0 win.

Mountain Ridge (14-1-1) will host the 1A West final Tuesday at 6 p.m., against the Brunswick-Clear Spring winner.

Burk said she was suffering from a “deep muscle bruise” before the game. The early collision with a Miners player exacerbated the injury. Her cries of agony could be heard throughout the grandstand.

Asked if she knew she had to come out of the game, Burk replied, “Oh yes.”

Which left no choice but for Ellis, the team’s only other goalie, to warm up and take the field.

In the ninth minute — less than six minutes after Ellis entered the game — Miners junior Casey Felker scored her team’s first goal. Mountain Ridge carried the 1-0 lead into the half.

Smithsburg (8-6-2) opened the second half with an offensive barrage, but couldn’t get the ball past Miners goalie Chelsea Muir. Della Mea noted that Mountain Ridge was solid on set pieces.

“They made us pay for it,” Della Mea said.

One such set piece came on a free kick by Mountain Ridge senior Annabelle Hegeman, who stood just inside the 30-yard line and sent the ball sailing over Ellis’ outstretched hands for a 2-0 lead in the 49th minute.

Mountain Ridge added a third goal about 10 minutes later when Ellis was out of position, far enough in front of the net to give space for sophomore Lexie Metz to knock her shot in for a 3-0 Miners lead. Carlie Lewis recorded the assist.

Smithsburg had more shots on goal (10) than Mountain Ridge (eight). Dominique Dilandro had three shots while Elyse Koterwas had two. Ellis was credited with nine saves while Muir tallied 13 for the Miners.

With the season over, Della Mea took his seniors into a separate circle away from the team’s bench shortly after the horn signaled the end of the game. The third-year coach had nothing but praise for his players and told them to keep their chins up.

“This is my first class,” Della Mea said of the players who “built (the program) up from rubble. Each one of you brought something to the table I can never, ever replace. You girls have been a class act through and through.”

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