When reality falls short of expectations, disappointment is usually the result. And for visiting South River boys soccer coach Greg Carroll, yesterday's 2-0 loss to Chesapeake was disappointing.
As a slow-motion volley by Chesapeake's Fred Sporrer rolled toward the Seahawks' goal with 12 minutes left in the first half, Carroll figured keeper Kevin Collison -- a returning starter -- would make a move.
He did, but was much too late to stop the ball from going in off the right-hand post. Collison said he was screened by players standing in front of the goal.
"I was waiting for him to go after it, buthe said he didn't see it," said Carroll, whose Seahawks (3-3) were shut out for the first time this season. "It went in mighty slow not to be seen."
And four minutes into the second half, Collison (14 saves) was doubled-over and chasing a ball to the edge of the penalty area. But the senior couldn't scoop it before Chesapeake's Dean Cocciatouched it away from Collison's fingertips and fired a cross to teammate Chris LeCron, whose header stood up for the final margin.
"(Collison) ended up running over the top of the ball and then, bang-bang," said Carroll, whose Seahawks are defending Class 3A Region IV champions.
"Truthfully, I thought he should have picked it up on the side," added Carroll.
Truthfully, a Chesapeake goal seemed only a matter of time, as the Cougars pressured from start to finish, goal to goal.
Led by senior midfielder Greg Cameron, a four-year starter, senior midfielder Keith Lovell and senior striker Steve Kopp, the Cougars continually spread the Seahawks' defense and pierced their wayinside the final third.
Chesapeake enjoyed a 27-6 advantage in shots, including 8-0 in the second half, and attacked the corners viciously, building a 10-0 advantage in corner kicks.
"Their strong point was their midfield controlling the field, and we knew that would be a problem. Their halfbacks ate ours up badly." said Carroll, who faces Annapolis Friday.
"I thought we played sporadically in the first half, and I expected our play to go up in the second half. It didn't."
With the win, the Cougars (5-0) have surpassed their victory total of a year ago, when they went 4-7-1.
"We did mostly what we expected to do, but didn't have as many give-and-go's as we should have," said Chesapeake coach Earl Eckhardt, who returns 11 players fromlast year's squad, including seven starters.
The Cougars have shown the ability to play impressively -- as they did in a 4-0 shutout of a respectable Arundel squad, or dismally -- as in their previous game, a shaky 2-1 win over Northeast that was the Eagles' fifth straight loss.
"Northeast packed their defense in, and we were a little sluggish," said Coccia, who is among the top scorers with two goals ona balanced squad.
"We tried to work the ball to the feet and to the outsides. We wanted to be more of a team and get good shots off. We had a good time."
Said Eckhardt: "Two goals is satisfactory, butwe could have had plenty more if we'd have capitalized on more of the opportunities that we had."
Sporrer, a 15-year-old sophomore whois used to playing for only a third of most games, made the most of his opportunity, scoring his first goal of the year.
Although he didn't get his best foot on the ball, he collected the volley from Kopp and made it count.
"I misjudged it. I miss-hit the ball," said Sporrer, a 5-foot-7, 135-pounder. "I got a little lucky, I guess."
But luck often leads to a goal in soccer when opportunity coincides with preparation.
Although South River had lost to both Broadneck and North County -- two teams the Cougars had defeated -- by identical2-1 scores, the high-scoring Seahawks entered the contest averaging three goals a game, including a 2-0 shutout of Old Mill.
Yesterday, however, Carroll held five starters from the early going for disciplinary reasons, and another, striker Neal Smith, was out with a thighinjury.
Chesapeake keeper Scott Mulkey (eight saves) rarely handled a dangerous ball.