BLAINE, Minn. -- Bryan Bugarin and Mike Henning exploited defensive lapses to each score a goal and Shane Dougherty added insurance to lift the under-19 Baltimore Spirit to a 3-1 victory over the Countryside Lightning last night for the 57th McGuire Cup boys crown at the Snickers U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships at the National Sports Center.
Baltimore was in its end for much of the first half, but took a 1-0 lead over its Clearwater, Fla., opponent into halftime.
In the 28th minute, Spirit midfielder Matt Nesbitt drove a 50-yard ball from deep in his half. The ball spun over the head of leaping defender Tom Steiner to Bugarin, streaking in from the left flank. Bugarin beat goalkeeper Joe Schafer to the ball 20 yards out, pushed it by the keeper, cut behind him and put his 12-yard shot into the empty net for a 1-0 lead.
Spirit defender Mike Barger preserved the lead five minutes later with a diving, twisting clear of Bruce Toscani's shot, which had beaten goalkeeper Russell Payne.
Mike Henning put Baltimore ahead 2-0 in the 58th minute, beating Schafer to defender Mark Tokar's weak back-pass and drilling a low 15-yarder under the out-of-position keeper for a 2-0 lead.
The Lightning narrowed the margin to 2-1 in the 74th minute when wide-open Shawn Stafford took a through ball from Mike Freno and fired a 12-yard shot under Spirit second-half keeper C. J. Norton.
Nine minutes later, Dougherty gave the Spirit an insurance goal with a point-blank shot off Schafer's chest for a 3-1 edge.