No. 14 Perry Hall sloshes past Patterson Gators take 4A North title with 4-0 victory

November 08, 1995|By Ethan Skolnick | Ethan Skolnick,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Sloshing through a persistent drizzle, No. 14 Perry Hall (12-2-1) scored twice in the first half and went on to defeat Patterson, 4-0, in the Class 4A North regional final, a soggy spectacle that was more mosh pit than soccer game.

When the sprawling stopped, Patterson's best player was on his way to a hospital, and Perry Hall was on its way to the state semifinals.

"They handled the conditions better than we did," said Patterson coach Derek Maki, who made a noontime decision not to postpone. "I don't know, maybe we shouldn't have played."

His top midfielder might wish he hadn't. Senior John Hollen was jostling for the ball on the midfield stripe five minutes into the second half, when his leg slammed into a Perry Hall player. He was carried off the field with an apparent knee injury.

If the Clippers (11-4) seemed sluggish before Hollen's departure, they were downright inert afterward.

Not that it would have mattered. Perry Hall decided the game early, dominating the midfield and capitalizing on just enough of its plentiful up-close opportunities.

Senior Adam Nastalski struck first, eight minutes in, knocking in a loose ball with his right foot while skidding backward.

Joe Capone followed in the 15th minute with a diving header from inside the goalie box.

The sophomore's goal was aided by a perfect cross from junior Tim Drosinos, and culminated several minutes of attacking by Perry Hall.

"We challenged the ball, and we kept pushing," said Gator coach Ed Wolf, whose team eliminated Patterson last year as well, 4-2 in the semifinals.

"We won the air game all over the place."

They won the goalie battle, too. Patterson keeper Josh Sullivan performed admirably under trying circumstances, stopping 12 of 23 shots, 16 of which were on net.

But Perry Hall's William Foos III was sensational when tested.

Just before halftime, Patterson's John Thomas was shoved inside the box and granted a free kick. He delivered a low hard shot to Foos' right. His body parallel to the ground, Foos punched it out with two hands, and punched out the lights on Patterson.

"That was really big," said Maki. "We had our chance to get back into it, and when it didn't go in, it deflated us."

Perry Hall scored twice more after the break, one on a header by Capone off a corner kick, the other on a booming shot from sophomore Kyle Zimmer.

Zimmer was in for senior stopper David Watts, who broke his collarbone and left arm Friday in a car accident. Watts would have marked Hollen. Instead, that task fell or rose, to the 6-foot-4 Zimmer.

"He just did an outstanding job," Wolf said. "His size was really a factor."

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