Oakland Mills Coach Don Shea lingered on the field for a long time after his young team tied a bigger, older Loyola squad, 3-3, in overtime Friday at Oakland Mills.
Shea wanted to talk to anyone who would listen. He was pleased with his team's effort despite the tie, and despite the fact it was a game Oakland Mills easily could have won.
The Scorpions made a number of youthful mistakes. But they started three freshmen and only three seniors, so Shea expected mistakes from the inexperienced team.
"I think Loyola was a pretty good team,so I'm pleased with our guys," Shea said.
Loyola Coach Jim Claborn went a step beyond pretty good and called his squad: "The best teamLoyola has ever had. We played well, passed well, moved without the ball well. I think the team is disappointed with the tie."
The Scorpion players seemed pleased to tie a team of Loyola's caliber, even though it is Oakland Mills that carries the big reputation for soccerexcellence after winning state titles in 1986, 1988 and 1990.
"Wegot our scores and we just need to cut down on our mistakes," Scorpion co-captain Teddy Lawler said. Lawler, a sophomore midfielder, didn't start because he's coming off a knee injury.
But 12 minutes into the second half Lawler scored a go-ahead goal from 18 yards out. Heturned the corner and knocked it past Loyola's freshman goalie BrianZeller to the far post for a 2-1 Oakland Mills advantage.
OaklandMills led, 1-0, after Henry Roh turned the corner on a similar play just one minute into the game.
Both times Loyola stormed back quickly to take advantage of Oakland Mills mistakes.
Loyola's superb forward, Mike Tall, who scored twice and had an assist, banged a deflection off Scorpion sweeper Brendt Mascott to tie it, 1-1, eight minutes into the game.
And Tall tied it at 2 with a penalty kick 15 minutes into the second half. He banged a low shot past Oakland Mills goalie Jason Kranefeld's left side.
Oakland Mills wasted its own penalty-shot opportunity in the first half when senior midfielder Sean Gorman's try was blocked. Senior Scorpion forward Lopaka Trout had been tripped in the penalty box to create that opportunity.
Gorman unexpectedly was forced to play 20 minutes at outside fullback when oneof the Scorpions' best defensive players, Nathan Matherly, was told by a doctor Friday he couldn't play because of a blood disorder.
Matherly is Oakland Mills' enforcer -- one of their few players with size.
But every time it appeared the more mature Loyola team would take the game away, the Oakland Mills squad fought back.
Shea has good reason for nicknaming his team "The Fighting Smurfs."
With about eight minutes left in regulation, Trout scored for Oakland Mills off a loose ball in the center of the Loyola penalty box. Zeller leftthe goal and came to the top of the box to stop Jay Holmes' advance.The two went down and Trout booted the ball into a net that was guarded only by a hastily retreating fullback. The Scorpions led, 3-2.
But less than a minute later, Loyola tied it when Tall made a beautiful run down the sideline and passed to Mike Aman who scored.
"I should have called time out and packed the defense back, but
Loyolascored so fast we just got burnt," Shea said.
In the two 10-minute overtime periods, Oakland Mills produced four serious scoring threats but Loyola's Zeller stoped them all.
Shea was worried that his team might be overmatched against some of the tough teams they scheduled in this rebuilding year. But those fears diminished somewhat after Friday's game.