River Hill closes out Pocomoke First-year school tops defending 1A champs, gains final with 2-1 win

Boys soccer

November 12, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The opponent was formidable. First-year River Hill (14-3) had to knock off the defending state Class 1A champions, Pocomoke (15-3), to advance to the state finals Saturday. And Pocomoke had graduated just two players.

But the eighth-ranked Hawks came through with a 2-1 victory on a follow-up shot by Clif Jackson with 5: 04 left to play at North County last night.

Jackson's goal overcame a tying goal by Pocomoke's Steve Adams (12 goals, 11 assists) with 6: 10 left to play. It was Jackson's third goal this season and his second game-winner.

The opportunity developed after Billy Allen's shot from the right side slipped through the hands of Pocomoke goalkeeper Ben Troast and rolled dead in uncut grass in front of the goal.

"It's the good thing the grass was high or we'd have been dead," River Hill coach Bill Stara said.

Adom Crew scored River Hill's first goal in the 54th minute from the 6-yard line.

That goal developed when Randal Brown played a ball down the line, and Allen's cross was deflected to Scott Buescher, who crossed it to Crew for his sixth goal.

Stara thought that pace played a key role in the victory.

"We softened them up and pinned them back in the first half," Stara said. "We didn't think they were used to playing aggressive teams at a fast pace and that's what we tried to do in that half. The pace slowed in the second half, and they were able to create some things, but we didn't get down after they scored their goal. We got rejuvenated. It helped us that day in and day out we had to play at a faster pace in Howard County."

Pocomoke coach Alan Byrd attributed the defeat to River Hill's ability to create mistakes.

"Their right side got behind us a lot, and we were too passive and didn't do much wide in the first half. We needed to pressure their goalkeeper. We were too slow off restarts, and we didn't get to a good [offensive] cross in the second half," Byrd said. "And then our goalkeeper did not catch a routine ball to set up the winning goal."

Byrd thought his team had the momentum after it scored, but squandered it. "We gave up a soft ball in the middle of the field and they took it all the way down."

Stara didn't see much difference between the teams. "It was a good even game. I wouldn't want to say one team was better than the other. Sam [Salganik] played well in back doing a yeoman's job."

Severna Park 1, High Point 0: A cross from junior Adam Young to sophomore Jon King produced the only goal about eight minutes into the match as the Falcons (13-3) beat the Prince George's County school (13-3-1) in a Class 4A semifinal at Arundel High School.

Severna Park advanced to Saturday's final against Walt Whitman at 7: 30 p.m. at Old Mill.

A superb defensive effort led by sophomores Reid Shaklee, Bernie Edwards and Sean McGarry resulted in what was only the fourth shutout of the season for the Falcons.

Pub Date: 11/12/96

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