Bel Air repeats '95 win, claims 3A North title Nelson and Malcom score to blank C.M. Wright, 2-0

Boys soccer

November 07, 1996|By Bill Blewett | Bill Blewett,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The championship game of the Class 3A North Region playoffs last night in Bel Air looked a lot like a rerun. The teams were the same as the 1995 final. So was the result.

Bel Air outplayed C. Milton Wright, 2-0, to advance to the state semifinals. The Bobcats meet Montgomery County's Walter Johnson Saturday in their second straight trip to the final four.

The No. 5 Bobcats scored one goal in each half and played superb defense to shut out the No. 12 Mustangs, who shared the Harford County title this season with Bel Air. A year ago, Bel Air beat the Mustangs, 2-1, to advance to the state final.

Bel Air (13-2-1) again got a stellar performance from senior sweeper Billy Nelson, who played the game with 46 stitches above his eye after a collision during the semifinal game against Fallston.

"It feels great. I'm ready to play again," said Nelson about his injury as he came off the field in the final minute of play. "It's hard to beat a good team twice, but we were pumped up and we came out ready to play."

Nelson set up the first goal when he lofted an indirect kick in front of the goal from 40 yards out. The ball took one bounce into a crowd before junior Don Maney kicked it off the side of his foot and bounced it over the head of goalkeeper Andy Givens.

Nelson's powerful foot and relentless defensive play kept the ball in Bel Air's offensive end most of the first half.

The Mustangs began to gather momentum after the break and played the Bobcats evenly for much of the second half.

Bel Air scored its insurance goal off the head of Brian Malcom with 15 minutes left. Chris Chumley's throw-in set up the score, and Mike Steinen headed it once before Malcom drove it home.

Pub Date: 11/07/96

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