Severna Park wins shot at title Falcons defense stifles high-scoring High Point, 1-0, in state 4A semifinal

Boys soccer

November 12, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff

It seems that Severna Park is a year early for the big show in boys soccer. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the underclass-dominated Falcons, but they've got a date 7: 30 p.m. Saturday at Old Mill to play in the 4A state final against Montgomery County's Walt Whitman.

The No. 6 Falcons (13-3) outlasted highly regarded High Point (13-3-1) of Prince George's County, 1-0, last night at Arundel High School in Gambrills. A cross from junior Adam Young to sophomore Jon King produced the only goal about eight minutes into the match.

"It felt great to score, but it was our defense that did it tonight," said King.

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 over an explosive team.

"I didn't expect just one goal to win it against such a high-scoring team," said Falcons coach Don Gregg.

High Point's D.J. Wayoro came into the game with 19 goals, more than half as many scored by the entire Severna Park team (33).

Edwards and McGarry took turns marking Wayoro with Shaklee RTC going hard at High Point's big gun as part of a rotating double-team.

Severna Park's platoon goalies senior Frank White (first half) and junior Keith Brunst (second half) combined for five saves behind the Jimmy Traylor-anchored defense to put the Falcons in the state final for the eighth time in Gregg's 23 years (236-80-11).

"We thought we could give it a run for the region title, but we just didn't know," said Gregg, who is looking for an outright state title. His Falcons were co-champs with Bowie in 1983.

"But this team has the chemistry, the magic. It's here this year. Some of the past teams didn't have that magic," Gregg said. "You can have the greatest players in the world, but if you don't put them together, you don't get the chemistry."

Traylor agreed with his coach and said this year's team "is more in sync and communicates better."

The communication was obviously there as co-captains Traylor and senior midfielder Kenny Macko consistently won balls. High Point managed only eight shots, four in each half despite the fact that the Falcons lost senior stopper back Jason Polm at the half with an ankle injury.

"We were a little discombobulated with Jason out in the second half," said Gregg. "But our kids came through in the clutch."

Brunst delivered a spectacular save with just over 16 minutes left in the game. His snatch of a wicked kick by Wayoro prevented the game-tying goal and the Falcons controlled the midfield the rest of the way.

Using White in the first half in the cage and Brunst in the last 40 minutes is a tactic Gregg has employed from time to time this season. The decision to do it last night in the words of the coach was "a gut feeling."

"Our kids came through against a greatly skilled team," said Gregg.

Pub Date: 11/12/96

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