Meade's first-year coach Mike Dey gave his squad a face-lift for last night's Class 4A Region IV semifinal boys soccer game against Chesapeake.
He moved the skill, midfielders Eric Washington and Jim Dey, to the front line -- and the speed, strikers Luis Morales and Rodney Rawlinson, into the midfield.
The result was a 3-1 victory Dey could call a masterpiece, with Washington assisting on all three goals, midfielder J. J. Grewe scoring twice in less than a minute and Rawlinson netting the game's final goal.
"We were ready for the look. We had seen them use it in their last game of the season, against Glen Burnie," sixth-year Chesapeakecoach Earl Eckhardt said. "But what we just weren't ready for was Washington. When he turned it up a notch, we just couldn't control him.He was out of control."
After the second-seeded Cougars (9-3-1) took a 1-0 lead on Kevin Lovell's 30-yard volley two minutes into the game, the seventh-ranked Mustangs (10-3) stormed back late in the period with Grewe's goals.
The first, at 25:48, came when Grewe collected the rebound of Washington's initial shot, which was blocked by keeper Scott Mulkey (nine saves), and chipped it into an unprotected net.
Just 36 seconds later, Washington -- standing on the left end line -- launched the ball to Grewe at the far post. Grewe caught Mulkey following the ball to his left and unable to change his momentum as Grewe's low shot went in to his right.
"Eric being up front really helped because he's a great ball handler. I was just thinking I'd be the playmaker and get the ball out wide," Grewe said.
Said Washington, "Against Glen Burnie, I scored a goal playing forward and didsome pretty nice things. So I guess I was moved up to be more offensive."
Washington's best move may have come when he intercepted a Cougar's throw-in with a header 30 yards out. Rawlinson had his back to the goal but turned and gained the inside position on two defendersbefore pounding his right-footed shot past Mulkey.
Dey wanted to get away from the "long-ball happy" game his Mustangs played against Chesapeake in a 1-0 regular-season loss.
"We had just beat SevernaPark, 1-0, and that was kind of the strategy we used, but against Chesapeake, the guys got carried away," Dey said.
The Mustangs, who outshot the Cougars, 16-8, face the winner of last night's semifinal between top seed Severna Park and fourth-seeded defending regional champion Broadneck in Saturday night's 7:30 regional championship game at Chesapeake.