CLEAR SPRING — Williamsport and Smithsburg were victorious in Saturday’s Washington County Girls Soccer Tournament semifinals, earning a date in the championship game on Sept. 21 at Mike Callas Stadium.
Williamsport defeated Clear Spring 2-0 in Saturday’s first semifinal.
Despite holding the ball in Clear Spring’s side of the field for the majority of the first half, Williamsport (2-0) didn’t score until the 24th minute, when Erin Palmer found the top left corner of the net from 21 yards out.
“Clear Spring is a very physical team. We wanted to keep the ball as long as we could and attack,” said Williamsport coach Tim Salvagno.
Five minutes later, freshman Erin McVicker stole the ball right out of Clear Spring goalie Jen Bowers’ hands and finished for Williamsport’s second goal.
“We expect a lot of things from McVicker. She’s going to have a little bit of a learning curve since she’s a freshman, but she’s talented and we’re excited to have her,” said Salvagno.
The Wildcats gave Clear Spring’s defense a workout and put 19 shots on goal to the Blazers’ seven. Bowers made 17 saves for Clear Spring (1-1).
“We played well, but we have to build upon it,” said Clear Spring coach Brian Albert. “They were quicker decision makers to the ball. They knew where they were going when they had it. We have a younger starting lineup but we played well. We’ll just have to improve next game.”
Clear Spring’s Sam Staley had opportunities to score in the second half, breaking loose on the left wing three separate times. However, Williamsport’s defense was able to shut her down.
“We wanted to put in a solid shift,” said Salvagno. “We were solid defensively and we got opportunities. We just need to finish a little better.”
Haley Carter made seven saves for Williamsport.
* In the second semifinal, Boonsboro and Smithsburg finished regulation tied at 1, and the Leopards prevailed over the Warriors 4-2 in a penalty-kick shootout.
Smithsburg took a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute on a Rachael Faust goal, with Vanessa Cuevas assisting.
Boonsboro tied it later in the first half on Alli Hawbaker’s goal.
Neither team found the net in the second half. Cuevas, Rebecca Morales, Emma Gerhold and Fiona Zahm scored in the shootout for Smithsburg.
“It’s a great step for the program to move into the county championship game,” Leopards coach Victor Della Mea said. “I have to say, Boonsboro played a magnificent game, really top-notch stuff from them. They played us as close as possible.”
Jordy Bingaman and Rachel Holmes scored in the shootout for the Warriors.
“We didn’t play anywhere near what we’re capable of,” Boonsboro coach Chris Lantz said. “Smithsburg played hard and pressured everything hard. It’s probably a fair result.”
* Saturday’s action started with a fifth-place game between rivals, and North Hagerstown shut out South Hagerstown 2-0.
Morgann Wilcox was all over the field for the Hubs (1-1), netting both of North’s goals.
Wilcox opened with a goal in the fourth minute off a perfectly placed cross from Olivia Balog. Wilcox added the insurance goal in the 77th minute, dribbling around South goalie Hayley Beyer for a shot into an open net.
“We wanted to come out and control the game,” said North coach Rick Aleshire. “The girls gave us a lot of opportunities today.”
The Hubs moved as a cohesive unit and put 12 shots on goal to the Rebels’ four while mostly keeping South away from North’s side of the field. Logan Keith made four saves for the shutout.
“From the very first day of practice, that’s what we work on, being more cohesive,” said Aleshire. “We’re not quite there yet, but it keeps getting better.”
Beyer made eight saves for South (0-2).
“These young ladies played an excellent game against an excellent team,” said South coach Marc David. “We’re just going to continue to improve.”