No. 12 Atholton fails to make the grade against Gonzaga, 4-3 Boys soccer

September 30, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

No. 12 Atholton faced its first major test of the season against Gonzaga yesterday, and the Raiders flunked, 4-3.

"It was a big learning experience for us," Atholton coach Reg Hahne said. "We learned that we can play competitively with a good team."

Gonzaga (6-1-1), ranked 18th in the Washington area by The Washington Post, was coming off an emotional 3-1 win Tuesday against undefeated league rival Bishop Ireton and came out flat in the first 15 minutes yesterday.

The Raiders' Richard Buehler scored back-to-back goals in the 15th and 16th minutes for a 2-0 lead. He scored on a header off a set play after a pass from Adam Shaivitz and again on a header off a throw-in.

But then the Raiders (3-1) made two mental errors that led to Gonzaga goals in the 17th and 23rd minutes and and allowed the Purple Eagles to tie it, 2-2.

"We should never have let them back in the game," Hahne said. "On their first goal we failed to clear the ball when we had a shot at it, and on their second goal our kids thought it was offside and stopped dead."

Gonzaga's first goal was scored by Leo Gazoni on a kick from left side. Lee Johnson, who came off the bench to score two goals and add an assist for the Eagles, tied it with a kick from the right side. Chris McSweeney got an assist.

The momentum shifted back to Atholton after Randy Greenbaum kicked in a goal from the 35-yard line that sailed over Gonzaga goalkeeper Khaled Bitar for a 3-2 Raiders lead three minutes before halftime.

Atholton had two excellent opportunities to increase its lead in the opening minutes of the second half, but open shots from the left side by Buehler and Ted Zingman both sailed wide left.

Gonzaga's midfield then took control.

Johnson scored off a throw-in in the 52nd minute. He bounced it into the net off his chest to tie it, 3-3. John Swagart got the assist.

Then Swagart, who has three goals and nine assists this season, scored the game-winner on a header off a corner kick in the 54th minute. Johnson got the assist.

"Swagart killed us," Hahne said. "I'm glad we won't see him again next year."

Gonzaga received a steady game from its junior sweeper, David Andretta.

"We graduated our goalkeeper and four starting defenders, and we are young and vulnerable defensively," Eagles coach Derek Donnelly said.

"But I was never worried even after we gave up those first two soft goals. We had scored 26 goals in our first seven games, and I knew we were bigger and faster at certain key positions."

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