Boateng, Hammond roll past N. Hagerstown

Junior's hat trick keys 4-1 victory, spot in final

2A West boys soccer regional

November 04, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

North Hagerstown had allowed only nine goals all season, but the Hubs had never before faced anyone like Kwaku Boateng.

Hammond's junior forward put on quite a show yesterday, scoring a hat trick and spurring the Bears to a Class 2A West regional semifinal victory over North Hagerstown, 4-1. Boateng has scored 27 goals and made six assists.

The Bears' win at Hammond, their fifth straight, puts them into Tuesday's 7 p.m. regional final against Centennial at Howard High.

"No. 10 [Boateng] was capable of scoring at will," Hubs coach Lance Baker said. "We knew about him and we tried to mark him."

North Hagerstown (10-5-1), which dropped from 3A to 2A this season, had not allowed three goals in a game, but Hammond (9-8) scored that many in the first half alone.

For the game's first goal in the ninth minute, Boateng took a pass from midfielder Paul Preziotti at the 20, quickly turned left to leave two defenders hanging, and then kicked a blast that struck the crossbar and bounced in.

Ten minutes later, Dan Lally scored for Hammond off an assist by Kevin Becka, who slid toward the goal and kicked Gordon Murray's throw-in gently into the air in front of Lally near the goal line. Lally had just replaced Casey Gunther.

Boateng made it 3-0 with 10:28 left in the first half by kicking Gunther's long cross off the goalkeeper and then running the rebound into the goal.

"He really can create and finish," said Hammond coach Trevin London. "But our whole team played well in that first half."

The second half was a different matter. North Hagerstown came on strong and outplayed the Bears.

"They are a good team and kept coming at us," London said. "The score doesn't tell how tough they played. We beat them to the ball in the first half."

Baker said his team wasn't used to being behind.

"We hit the goal post in the first seven minutes of the second half, and, had that shot gone in, it could have changed things. We overlooked Hammond because of their record, but they worked well as a team."

With 5:13 to play, Boateng kicked in a loose ball for a 4-0 Hammond lead.

North Hagerstown's All-State midfielder, Tim Salvagno, scored with 2:42 to play.

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