All night long, Severna Park had been coming up just short in scoring opportunities. So when senior Jimmy Traylor found himself facing the greatest opportunity of all -- a penalty shot in the waning minutes of a tie game with host Chesapeake -- he knew he had to take advantage.
"I thought that if I would've missed that, I would've let my whole team down," said Traylor.
The back came through, scoring on a penalty kick with 9: 35 left in regulation to propel Severna Park to a 2-1 victory over the host Cougars in the Class 4A East regional final.
The Falcons (12-3) advance to Saturday's (5 p.m.) Class 4A state semifinals against High Point at Arundel High School. They have now won 11 region titles.
This one, however, didn't come easy. Their third straight one-goal win was an exercise in frustration at times.
"We had opportunities but we just didn't get the great shot," said Severna Park coach Don Gregg.
Though Severna Park dictated play in the early stages of the first half, it was Chesapeake (9-6) that struck first.
Following a corner kick by Damian Morales toward the goal, the Falcons' Rich Kuhn booted the ball back out front to the Cougars' Bryan Owen, who fired a rocket to the right of goalie Keith Brunst to make it 1-0 with 12: 37 to play before the intermission.
Falling behind only seemed to make Severna Park play harder. By the time 10 minutes had elapsed in the second half, the Falcons had outshot their rivals, 11-2, yet still hadn't scored a goal.
Seconds later, however, sophomore Bernie Edwards changed all that, tying the game 12: 49 into the second half.
Chesapeake had a golden chance to take the lead down the stretch. With 13: 28 to play, the Cougars' Saul Pollack got the ball 12 yards out but rolled a grounder inches wide to the left.
It was Severna Park that took the lead for good. With 9: 35 to play, the Falcons made the most of a golden opportunity when Traylor scored on a penalty kick after officials whistled the Cougars for tripping midfielder Adam Young in the box.
Pub Date: 11/06/96