Perry Hall falls short against Whitman Gators fail to complete chances in 4-1 4A loss

Boys soccer

November 12, 1996|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Most of the Perry Hall players came off the field shaking their heads in anger.

That's because the Gators created an abundance of scoring opportunities but left with a 4-1 loss to Walt Whitman in the Class 4A state semifinals at Arundel High School last night.

Perry Hall (12-4-1) lost last year in the state final after beating Whitman in the semifinals. The Vikings (11-5-1), who have won nine straight games, advance to meet Severna Park in their first title game since 1993.

"We could play with them, but we couldn't finish," Perry Hall coach Ed Wolf said. "All season, we finished those opportunities. At this level, you can't let them get away."

Take the first 15 minutes of the game. Perry Hall and Whitman each took three shots.

The difference: Perry Hall shot wide twice and hit the post; Whitman scored twice.

The Vikings jumped out to a 1-0 lead six minutes into the game when Matt Gormley fed James Battat in the right corner. Battat cleared a lane with a fake to his right and lifted a ball that nipped the fingers of Gators goalkeeper Marc Aqui before sailing into the net.

Whitman scored again less than 10 minutes later when Robert Juvenal chipped in a shot from two yards out on a cross by Gormley.

"I think that set the tone," said Aqui, who kept the Gators alive with seven saves. "The first goal really took the wind out of us."

Perry Hall outshot Whitman, 17-13, but only put five of those shots on goal. However, Whitman showed better execution, tagging 11 shots at Aqui.

The Gators cut the deficit to 2-1 midway through the first half when Todd Tabor sliced a shot into the left corner. But the rest of Perry Hall's shots either curled wide or high of the goal.

The Vikings virtually put the game away 12 minutes into the second half when Gormley beat the Perry Hall defense down the middle of the field and converted a one-on-one with Aqui to increase their lead to 3-1.

Battat scored his second goal of the game on a crossing pass from Aaron Bernstein with seven minutes remaining. The four goals are the most allowed by the Gators this season.

"They took our momentum away early," Tabor said. "I think we played hard. We just had some bad luck tonight."

Pub Date: 11/12/96

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