St. Mary's to face Boys' Latin for B title Teams split two games during regular season

Boys soccer

November 07, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

St. Mary's is right where it wants to be again, but the players don't want any of that co-champion stuff this time.

For the second year in a row, the Saints have advanced to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship game, and Boys' Latin will be the opponent at 2: 30 p.m. Saturday at UMBC.

The Saints (12-5-1) advanced with a 1-0 victory over St. Paul's (10-7-1) Tuesday. The Lakers (13-4-1) blanked Friends, 2-0 in the B conference semifinals.

St. Mary's and St. Paul's shared last year's conference title after battling through double overtime deadlocked at 2.

"The kids don't want any tie," said Saints coach Jamie McNealey. "They want a win or loss, no ties. It's going to be a tough game. We have to play as a unit and avoid letting them jump out on us the way they have two times this season." In splitting two games during regular season with the Lakers, the Saints had to overcome a 3-0 first-half deficit in the initial meeting to win by 4-3. Boys' Latin won the second match, 4-0.

St. Mary's has never won a boys soccer title outright in the program's 11 years, and the Justin Wells-led seniors want the first.

"We're kind of thought of as a lacrosse school, and this being my senior year, I would love to go out with a sole championship, especially after tying last year," said Wells, a four-year starter and All-County sweeper as a junior.

"It [co-championship] just doesn't feel the same."

Despite St. Paul's coach Howard Schindler's saying rather matter-of-factly that "B. L. can take them," Wells and his teammates beg to differ.

"I think we have a definite shot at beating them, " said Wells. "Everyone is even going in, so we'll see who comes out on top."

McNealey said Schindler just "doesn't respect us in any sport. We have a good chance. We have beaten them once."

The coach and his team are working overtime to get it done.

"Our concern is the Ulrich brothers, [senior twins David and Todd], because they always seem to find the ball near the net, and they work hard to get it," said McNealey. "We have to know when to take our chances."

One of the plays that will get more than a few reps was their game-winning play on Tuesday. Will Lahneman's ground ball shot in the first minute of the second half on a designed play stood up for the Saints in their triumph over St. Paul's.

Kevin Corradini's direct kick crossed over the middle with junior Adam Shiley heading it back through the middle and onto the ground. The ball skipped toward the net with Lahneman and Justin Wells zooming in on each side of Crusader goal keeper Adair Newhall, who didn't have a chance.

"Will beat me to it and toe-poked it in, " said a smiling Wells. "I knew one of us was going to put it in. Their goalie stuck his leg out and it actually hit his toe and the bar before going in."

It was execution the Saints will need to prevail Saturday.

"It makes me feel good, because we take a lot of time to go over things like that and for the kids' mentality of being in the box ," said McNealey.

"Will [Lahneman, senior with four goals, two assists this season] doesn't get a lot of recognition, but most of his goals have come in big games when we've been tied or down by a goal."

Lahneman said the win "was very important because our morale was raised immensely, and I think we're in good shape for the championship game. "

The Saints' midfield and defense also have to do the job in the team's high-risk defense and take some pressure off goalkeeper Matt Miletich.

Pub Date: 11/07/96

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