Poolesville eliminates No. 15 Hereford on second-half goal

November 12, 1994|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,Special to The Sun

POOLESVILLE -- A controversial second-half goal by Poolesville senior midfielder Todd Smith was enough to propel the host Indians of Montgomery County past No. 15 Hereford in a Class 1A state semifinal game.

Poolesville (13-2-1), a team that began the season 0-2 and has won three straight playoff games 1-0, will play the winner of the other state semifinal between top-seed Williamsport and fourth-seed Easton in the Class 1A state championship. Poolesville will be making its first appearance in the finals.

Hereford, who last won a state title in 1989, falls in the state semifinals for the second consecutive year and finishes at 13-2-1.

Smith's goal came with 21 minutes remaining in the game. From 19 yards out, the 5-foot-7 Smith launched a high, arcing kick that resembled more of a kickoff.

Hereford senior goalie Keith Seabury (two saves) backed up to attempt a routine catching save if the ball didn't cross the crossbar.

"I mis-hit it," Smith said. "I got underneath the ball and it kept spinning backwards, which is why it didn't go as far [as it appeared it was going]."

Hereford coach John Mackert had a different opinion of the goal.

"It was a questionable goal for a couple reasons," Mackert said. "One, there's supposed to be a two-foot extension on the top of the goal post going into the net so it makes a clear-cut decision [for the referee].

"Second, my keeper said his head hit the back of the net and the ball never went in. I'm sure this sounds like sour grapes."

The ball's spin brought it just under the crossbar, where Seabury appeared to have at least momentarily pinned the ball. When the Bulls' goalie landed, however, the referees signaled the ball had crossed the line for a goal.

Hereford mounted a last-minute attack. With aggressive play by Poolesville senior goalie D.J. Adams leaving him out of position, the Bulls had two chances off strong throw-ins by senior sweeper Matt Saunders, only to be denied by Poolesville sophomore Andreas Ostergaard, who headed a last second Bulls shot over the crossbar as the final whistle sounded.

"We tried to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible," said Poolesville coach Doug Miller. "I was surprised that we really took it the play to them. We just had an outstanding week."

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