Green Bears top improving Westlake in OT, 2-1 Hammond gets fifth win over Charles County foe

September 11, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Looking for proof that Hammond has a young, inexperienced team this season?

Search no farther than yesterday's opening 2-1 overtime victory over Westlake of Charles County.

Neither junior midfielder Jason Decker, who scored the winning goal in the first minute of overtime, nor sophomore striker Rory Peters, who scored the first goal in the third minute of regulation, had scored before during their high-school careers, including JV competition.

Despite the Bears' inexperience, the victory against a competitive Westlake team that was equally young and matched up well with Hammond in skills and speed, had to be encouraging for Hammond coach Rich Corkran. His team had what it took to win a close one.

Westlake (0-1) put a bundle of pressure on Hammond's rebuilt defense in the second half's last 20 minutes, but the Bears responded behind senior sweeper Kamil Quander, junior stopper Ryan Pflugrad and junior goalkeeper Jeremy Peltzman.

"Our defense is a little shakier than last year, but I think we'll score more than 19 goals this season," Corkran said. "Jason made a nice shot today and ended it quickly."

Hammond (1-0) had trouble getting anything past Westlake sweeper David Jones, who displayed a powerful leg.

"Anything their sweeper got a foot on, he cleared," Corkran said. "We caught him out of position on the winning goal."

Decker took a pass from Peters down the middle at the 18-yard line and was not picked up by Jones.

"Their goalkeeper hesitated, then came out, and that gave me enough time to get around him," said Decker, who kicked a solid shot into an open net from 12 yards out.

Decker also figured in the Bears' first goal. His corner kick was headed by Pflugrad, but when the ball bounced out, Peters kicked it in.

"Westlake was a lot better than we thought," Decker said. "Last year, we dominated them. The only difference between us today was that we finished and they didn't."

Westlake scored in the ninth minute on a 35-yard bullet by Jones that seemed to freeze Peltzman as it sailed over his head.

Westlake, which opened five years ago, is now 0-5 against Hammond, but has improved each year.

"We've come a long way," coach Armand DelaCruz said. "We had our chances today with several crosses that we just missed. Sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way."

Pub Date: 9/11/96

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