Fallston falls short of repeat, 3-1

November 21, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Fallston, seeking a second successive state soccer championship, came up short in its Class 2A title match against Middletown yesterday, losing to the Knights, 3-1, at Old Mill High School.

Middletown earned the decision in a bruising, physical contest by scoring two first-half goals against a 25-mph wind, then thwarting the Cougars in the second half.

Officials whistled 50 fouls, with Fallston called for 26.

Senior Matt DeOrsey, a first-team All-State selection, provided the winning margin with his 29th goal just 1:14 before halftime. Getting loose on a breakaway, he drew out junior goalkeeper Eric McPhee, then chipped the ball over his head.

It was a third state championship for the Frederick County team (15-0-1), whose only blemish was a regular-season-ending scoreless tie with Thomas Johnson. Before yesterday, Bob Sheffler, in his 20th coaching season, had brought seven teams to this level, but only his 1980 team (to go with the school's 1973 entry) had won it.

Fallston, which won its only state title last year in Class 1A, came in with a record (14-0-1) identical to Middletown's, and an overall

TC non-losing streak of 19 games (18-0-1). It was a record achieved by getting scoring opportunities and cashing in on them. The Cougars reached the final by outscoring their three playoff foes, 14-0.

This time, the chances were there, but the goals were not, as a back line led by senior captain Greg Sandi harassed the Cougars inside the 18-yard stripe. Still, Fallston out shot the opposition 15-10, taking 10 in the first half with the wind.

Junior Michael Silverman, who had six goals during the season, put Middletown on the scoreboard first when he got loose on a breakaway. Getting the ball from senior midfielder Peter Medd, he challenged Eric McPhee, then drilled a shot from 10 yards. The goalkeeper made a dive and got a hand on the ball but could not keep it out of the goal.

Just two minutes, 15 seconds had elapsed.

Although there appeared to be a question of whether Silverman was offside, there was no doubting the goal gave Middletown a huge lift.

"You don't know what that goal meant to us," Sheffler said. "We had made a major decision in going against the wind the first half, and we wanted to go out in those first few minutes and create good things."

Three minutes later, Brian Benner, one of four senior starters for Fallston, tied it when he received the ball from Fred Sheckells, a senior midfielder, off an indirect-kick situation. From 20 yards, Benner put the ball low on the near side and keeper Jeff Lowe had no chance. It was the eighth goal for Benner, who had set a school record with his 17th assist three weeks ago.

Medd scored Middletown's final goal on a penalty kick with three minutes left.

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