Moving from the back line to striker for last night's Class 4A, Region IV soccer semifinal didn't bother Meade's Eric Washington one bit.
As an "Army brat," Washington has called many places home, including Okinawa and Augsburg, Germany. He settled at Fort Meade four years ago and has been a mainstay in the Mustangs' program ever since.
His three assists in Meade's 3-1 victory over Chesapeake-AA last night demonstrated his ability to penetrate on attack and cross the ball "to" -- rather than "toward" -- a teammate.
"Eric is an excellent defender and he had gotten into a defensive
mode," said Meade coach Mike Dey. "In the last game against Glen Burnie, I moved him forward [from stopper back] to try to get him in an offensive mode. He really has had only one sub-par game all season. He's very consistent."
"My basic goal is to get the ball to my teammates," said Washington. "I'm very pleased with the results tonight."
No wonder. Chesapeake had jumped to a 1-0 lead two minutes into the game on a perfect chip shot by Keith Lovell.
"I thought we had them after that first goal," said Chesapeake coach Earl Eckhard. "Then Eric Washington turned up the tempo and took total control."
The lanky senior made a run and pushed his own rebounded shot to J.J. Grewe to tie the score. Less than a minute later, Washington was deep in the left corner when he grounded a perfect pass to Grewe, who was open 10 yards in front of the goal. And it was his third assist that set up Rodney Rawlinson in the second half and sealed the victory.
That assured that the Mustangs (10-4) will face top-seeded Severna Park (11-2) for the regional championship Saturday night (7:30) at Chesapeake. Severna Park got two goals in the first 12 minutes from midfielder Mike Crawford and downed Broadneck, 2-0.
Washington may well return to the back line for Saturday's contest. His marking skills will be needed to shadow the Falcons standout striker, Brian Peterson (11 goals, seven assists). Peterson is Severna Park's all-time career scoring leader, but Washington held him scoreless earlier in the season, when Meade won in overtime, 1-0.
But if Dey wants him to move forward on attack, he'll be ready.
L Highlights of other boys regional action yesterday included:
* In Class 2A, Region II, Hereford slipped by Loch Raven in overtime, 2-1, as David DiAngelo scored twice to raise his season total to 18. Hereford next meets undefeated Towson, which got by Overlea, 3-2.
* In Class 4A, Region II, Dulaney got a first-half goal from wing
Brad Crossley and downed Perry Hall, 1-0.
* In Class 3A, Region II, Dundalk topped C. Milton Wright, 1-0, to advance against Franklin, which stopped Eastern Vo-Tech, 3-0.
In key girls regional semifinals:
* In Class 3A-4A, Region III, Severna Park spotted Broadneck a goal and then rallied on goals by Niki Cecere and Shelly Seivert to advance to the region finals against the winner of tonight's South River-Chesapeake-AA match.
* In Class 3A-4A, Region I, Amanda Fouts scored in the second overtime period to lift C. Milton Wright over Perry Hall, 2-1. The Mustangs will next face Dulaney, 3-0 winner over Kenwood. Courtney McClelland had a pair of goals for Dulaney.
* In Class 1A-2A, Region III, Thori Staples lifted Joppatowne over North Harford, 1-0, and Loch Raven ousted Fallston, 1-0.