Halftime isn't always a time for players to relax and to quench their thirst with a cool drink of water. Just ask the St. Mary's boys soccer team.
First-year coach Brent Boone -- angered by a botched direct kick in the closing seconds of a scoreless first half in yesterday's game against visiting Severn -- delivered a fiery halftime speech.
He ended his lecture with the query, "Do you guys really want to score or do you want to just not go out for the second half?"
"He was so mad, he could hardly talk. He was really ticked, because he knows our whole offense can score," said senior forward Todd Lord, who scored two second-half goals in a two-minute span to secure the Saints' 2-0 victory over their Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference rivals.
On the first score, Rob Tobin's downward curling pass from the far side dropped at Lord's feet with his back to the goal. Lord turned on a defender, dribbled twice to get past him, and chipped aleft-footed shot into the net's lower corner.
"I guessed left, and he went right," said Severn's freshman keeper Brian Zaks (five saves). "I was screened and he was about six yards away. It was point-blank."
Lord worked harder for his second goal, stretching his 6-foot-2 frame high for a Dunbar pass and heading the ball to the net's upper left corner.
Saints' keeper J. D. Gattie (five saves) punched agoal-bound direct kick by Duncan Slidell over the cross bar with eight minutes left to secure his first shutout.
Behind junior forwards Chris Accinelli and Rex Vogan and senior midfielder Slidell, Severn(0-1) had a 5-3 advantage in second-half shots and a 4-1 edge in corner kicks. But the Saints (1-0) controlled the early going, posting a4-2 edge in shots in the first.
"They (Severn) were physical in the first half, but I thought, more or less, we dominated the game andcontrolled the ball," said Boone, a 1987 Annapolis High graduate.
For the Saints, who had a 9-9-2 record last year competing in Division II of the MSA A, Tobin and Lord wreaked havoc on the Admirals' defense in the first half.
With just one defender standing between the two players and Zaks, Lord misplayed a pass to Tobin -- right into Zaks' hands.
Tobin had missed two solid one-on-one chances just moments earlier. First, his 12-yard shot sailed just wide of the post to Zaks' left. Then, within five yards of Zaks, who had committed about 15 yards from the goal, Tobin's shanked one shy of the goal's rightpost.
"Our forwards just anticipated too much at times," said Boone. "Our touch was a little off."
None of those miscues annoyed Boone.
But when indecision caused his team to foil the direct-kick opportunity, his face turned nearly as red as his hair.
One Saints'player tapped the ball but the next one passed it up and no teammatefollowed through. The ball lay untouched near the top of the penaltybox before Severn cleared it.
"That's something that works in practice all the time, then we miss it in a close game," said Boone. "Wehad it at a perfect angle. I mean we might not get another one like that all year."
The Saints escaped with a mistake like that against an Admirals' squad that was 3-8-3 last year in Division I. But withgames against Friends (Friday), Gilman (Wednesday) and Archbishop Spalding (next Friday), they face a tough road.