Patriots' 2-1 Win Over Boys' Latin Is A Dream Fulfilled

September 29, 1991|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing writer

Geoff Pickett dreamed all season of playing halfback on the John Carroll soccer squad.

And, when his dream came true Friday, it was a nightmare for Boys' Latin.

Pickett scored twice in the first half, and his Patriot teammatesheld off a second-half surge from the visiting team for a 2-1 victory in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference boys' soccer game.

The junior had been playing sweeper this season, but was moved to halfback for the Boys' Latin game.

"I was constantly trying to give (coach John Hughes) ideas that I wanted to move up," said Pickett.

Hughes got the message. And although Pickett played only about one half at halfback, he wreaked enough havoc on Boys' Latin.

Pickett scored his first goal 13 minutes and 20 seconds into the game. He took a Frank Sweeney cross, fired a shot that was knocked back to him, and then put the ball past Laker goalie Sean Gruver from the doorstep.

Goal No. 2 came at the 18:14 mark. Pickett came down the left sideline and lofted a high, lazy ball from about 25 yards that floated over a leaping Gruver and into the net just inside the far post.

"I think (Gruver) was really expecting a cross," said Pickett. "I was just trying to get a good foot on the ball."

John Carroll (5-1 overall, 3-1 in the conference) controlled play for most of the first half.

The Patriots had several chances to score in the first half.Their passing was good, especially on the give-and-go, but they wereunable to finish.

John Carroll then suffered a blow when sweeper Dave Rosso was injured for a second time in the game and had to exit the match. He had been hurt and was down for several minutes in the first half and again in the second half. After the second injury, he left.

Pickett then had to move back to sweeper. Hughes said the loss of Rosso caused the Patriots problems.

"We had a really good flow," said Hughes. "We sort of lost it."

And Boys' Latin sort of found it. The Lakers began applying pressure at the start of the second half and kept it up the rest of the way.

Although the teams wound up even in shots at 12, including a 5-5 draw in the second half, Boys' Latin (3-2-1, 1-2-1) often turned up the heat.

Mark Nicauls of the Lakers nearly scored about three minutes into the second half. He fired a line drive from 25 yards that John Carroll goalie Eddie Maynard (11 saves) ran out and snagged.

The Lakers, however, kept pushing the Patriots back. John Carroll was unable to take a shot until nearly half of the second half had expired.

Boys' Latin finally got on the scoreboard a few minutes later. With 27:30 gone in the half, Damian Valentine sent a perfect cross from the right side into the box, and Tim Roberts headed it past Maynard.

"I think that we let them come at us too hard," said Hughes. "Defensively, I think we're better than we showed today."

John Carroll's defense then stiffened and held the Lakers at bay. The Patriots had one more chance to score. It came in the final few minutes of the game.

Jarrod Deal collareda loose ball all alone on the left sideline. He made a solo run downthe sideline and fired from about 15 yards out. Gruver made a sensational save, knocking the ball over the crossbar.

Boys' Latin CoachButch Maisel said youth and inexperience were the causes for the defeat.

"We do that every game -- we have a good half and a bad half," said Maisel. "We never know which half it will be."

On Friday, it was the first half. And the combination of that and Pickett turned out to be too much.

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