Chesapeake's 4-1 victory provides East Region title

November 09, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

This has been a season of firsts for Chesapeake coach Earl Eckhardt. And it's one he'll never forget.

Four nights after the eighth-ranked Cougars posted their first win over Severna Park, they gave Eckhardt his first Class 4A East Region championship, using a quick start and the continued excellence of senior goalkeeper John Smith to defeat visiting Annapolis, 4-1.

Andy Dziuban, Ryan Frommelt, Rich Kuhn and Keith Hare each scored, extending Chesapeake's unbeaten streak to nine games going into Saturday's 4A state semifinals at Arundel. Smith made five saves.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet," said Eckhardt, whose team will play either Sherwood or Winston Churchill, the two-time defending state champions, at 7:30 p.m. "The kids were mild when they came off the field."

They were intense when they were on it.

Dziuban, a senior forward, scored off a rebound 1:03 into the game. The sequence began with a throw-in by Rob Redmond.

The Cougars were just getting warmed up. Frommelt went through two defenders to score at 25:04, and Kuhn headed in a crossing pass from Blake Moore at 27:26.

Annapolis (7-7-1) was outshot, 12-4, in the half.

"They hit us hard initially," said coach Dave Gehrdes. "They scored the first goal and we just didn't get ourselves set up. That takes the wind out of your sails."

Said Eckhardt: "We had a really great first half. We could have had five or six more goals."

It stayed 3-0 until about 15:30 remained, when Annapolis junior Chris Holt knocked in a loose ball to break up the shutout. Smith had deflected a header from Ryan Sears off the post, and Holt was there for the follow.

Hare headed a pass from Jim Hart with 42 seconds left that Panthers goalkeeper Andy Holt tipped off the post and into the net.

Annapolis didn't come into the playoffs with the same momentum as Chesapeake, having lost five of its last seven regular-season games. But it made an inspired run at the region title before succumbing to the Cougars for the second time this year; they lost, 1-0, Oct. 20.

"We had some outstanding opportunities in the first half to stay right with them tonight," Gehrdes said. "But they've got a lot of talent."

Do they have enough to give Eckhardt his first state championship?

"It doesn't make a difference what I think, it's the kids," Eckhardt said. "And they don't think there's any team they can't beat. I don't think we're going into [Saturday's] game thinking it's an impossible task."

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