Perry Hall falls short to Northwestern-PG Wildcats make the most of few opportunities

4A boys soccer

November 19, 1995|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Moments before the scheduled start of last night's Class 4A state final at Old Mill, a stray bolt of lightning sent players from both sides scurrying for cover.

Once the game started, however, it was Perry Hall that was forced to do most of the scurrying.

Despite dominating play for much of the game, and outshooting Northwestern of Prince George's County, 17-9, the No. 14 Gators spent nearly the entire second half playing catch up and went on to lose, 3-2.

After finally pulling even on a goal by John Bornman with under six minutes left, Northwestern's Henry Garcia scored the second of his two goals with 2:41 to play, giving the Wildcats (14-4) their first state title since 1973 and handing the Gators (14-3-1) a bitter defeat.

"When your team is in it all the way to the end, you can't ask for any more than that," said Perry Hall coach Ed Wolf. "We played well. We stepped up after being down 2-1, and it was a whole team effort."

Northwestern made the most of its opportunities all night long.

"We've done the same thing in the last five games against quality teams, and somehow we've won the games," said coach Tom Stickles.

"There's no mystery or magic about our team. They're just too young to know what nerves are."

After missing out on several prime scoring opportunities early in the game -- including a header by Joe Capone and a hard shot by Tim Drosinos that sailed inches over the goal -- Perry Hall took the lead on Capone's right-footed bullet from 17 yards out on the left side 6:07 into the game.

But two goals by Northwestern -- one by Garcia midway through the first half and the other by Edgar Guerrero early in the second -- gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.

Capone led Perry Hall's offense, taking seven shots and nearly ++ connecting on goals at least four times.

The Gators were shooting for their first state title.

Despite the loss, Wolf said he was extremely pleased with his team's effort.

"We did just about everything that we said we wanted to do," said Wolf. "Everything but score some goals."

What the Gators did do, however, was hold a potent Wildcats offense, which had averaged nearly five goals a game, to one of its lowest offensive outputs of the year.

Wolf gave credit to his defense, and said if not for a couple late mental lapses, the outcome would've been different.

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