Chesapeake's Dean Coccia would be justified to be sky-high after hisgame-winning goal in the second overtime in Friday's boys soccer matchup against Annapolis.
The senior striker converted a header fromGreg Cameron with 6 minutes, 42 seconds left as the Cougars came from behind to nip the host Panthers, 2-1, in a Friendship Division gameat Al Laramore Stadium.
The win allowed the Cougars to at least grab a share of the division lead, not to mention helping them earn eight valuable playoff points.
But after being held to a scoreless tie by 1-6-1 Southern earlier in the week, Coccia maintains that he and his teammates will tryto keep everything in perspective.
"We're going to be modest now.We're going to be really low-key, because we've got to prove to everybody now, because we're not playing that well yet," said Coccia.
"But it was a great victory. Man, it was awesome. It feels really good to beat them, because I thought it was going to be another tie."
Up to the beginning of the second half, it looked as though Annapolis (5-2-1, 0-1 division) would totally frustrate the visitors. The Panther defense, led by sophomore David Winegrad, continually rushed itsopponents into bad shots once they were into shooting range.
Chesapeake (7-0-1, 1-0) had little problem developing its attack, but it constantly was smothered by Winegrad or defenders like Craig Harrison, Lawrence Gansler, David Deans, Jesse Simmerman and goalie Jak Karl,who grabbed 17 saves.
"We really weren't trying to play in a defensive mode, although it looked that way," said Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes. "I tried to tell the guys at halftime that the percentages are against you when the ball is down on your (defensive) end of the field."
While the Cougars kept trying to pound away at the Panther defense, Annapolis made the most of its three first-half shots just 12:56 into the contest, when Winegrad directed a left-footer past diving goalie Scott Mulkey (five saves). The defender was the recipient ofa loose ball in front of the nets, just moments after Lars Schultz directed a free kick.
"Winegrad had an excellent game," said Gehrdes. "He's only a sophomore, and last year he was a JV goalie, and thisyear we moved him out to fullback, and he's played tremendously all year long."
"This was probably the fourth game in a row where we've dominated shot-wise, first with Northeast (2-1 win), then Queen Anne's (2-0), Southern, and this game," said Cougar coach Earl Eckardt, whose charges outshot Annapolis, 20-10, 17-7 during regulation.
"Itold the kids (before overtime) we were going to get out of here with at least six (playoff) points. Because we need the points to reach our goal, which is to make the playoffs. I would have been satisfied with a tie, but I'm happy going out of here with the way it is."
Ten minutes and 33 seconds into the second half, Cameron -- an All-County pick last season -- was taken down inside of the penalty box by Simmerman, and knotted the game at 1-1 on a penalty kick.
"We had the early momentum with the first goal, but sometimes that's a problemwhen you score first," said Gehrdes.
"Sometimes there's a letdownwhen you score that fast. But like I told you guys in the beginning of the year, we're a very young team, and I didn't know how we would perform, but these guys have passed my expectations. Young kids are usually resilient. They'll get over this."