Falcons again fail to capture title, 2-1 Loss to Whitman makes Severna Park 0-7-1 in championship finals

4A boys soccer

November 17, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

One of these years, Severna Park is going to win an outright state championship in boys soccer, but for the eighth time in coach Don Gregg's 23 years, "It's wait 'til next year."

A very young Severna Park squad lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Montgomery County's Walt Whitman in the 4A state final at Old Mill High in Millersville last night. The bitter loss left the Falcons 0-7-1 in state championship games, with four of the losses to Whitman, which defeated the Falcons in 1979, '81 and '89).

"It's not if we're going to win it, it's when, and when was not this year," said Gregg, whose 1983 Falcons shared the state title with Bowie after a double overtime tie.

"We gave it a run, but we ran into a real good team. The kids did a great job and we walk off the field with our heads up."

All three goals were scored in the second half including senior Matt Fleischer's game-winner 18 minutes into the final 40 minutes. The Vikings' leading scorer, senior halfback and big-time Division I prospect, Matt Gormley (15 goals, 20 assists) found Fleischer with a in front of the cage to the left of Falcon goalkeeper Keith Brunst.

Fleischer's leaping header went over Brunst into the net for the decisive goal. It was the third time in 10 games decided by one goal that the Falcons (13-4) lost.

In winning its fifth state title in seven trips to the big one, Whitman (12-5-1) scored first on a cross from seniors Sam Steinman to James Battat. The latter's bullet singed the left corner of the net just three minutes into the second half.

The No. 6-ranked Falcons answered with a goal of their own less than two minutes later as Kenny Macko fed Adam Young who finished to tie the game at 1-1.

Severna Park staged several excellent runs in the ensuing moments and just missed scoring a pair of goals before Fleischer delivered for Whitman.

Sophomore Jon King's shot was barely wide right with Whitman's senior goalie Alonzo Gaviria stretched out but the right corner open.

About a minute before the game-winner, Bill Mooney, another of the Falcons' seven sophomores, had his header snuffed by Gaviria (six saves, two in second half).

The Falcons last shot came from Macko with just over two minutes left, but it was wide of the goal.

The Jimmy Traylor-directed defense enabled the Falcons to out-shoot the Vikings, 6-3, in the second half and 9-6 for the game. Sophomores Reid Shaklee and Bernie Edwards controlled the back and consistently won balls.

"Seems like we've come all this way and grown up and just to lose like this is heartbreaking," said Traylor, a senior co-captain with Macko and leader of 14 underclassmen.

"I think next year this will be a real good team."

Certainly "a real good team" showed up last night for the Falcons.

"They played a great game, were very disciplined and didn;t make any mistakes at all," said Whitman coach Dave Greene, whose squad stumbled at start of the season, going 2-5-1, but won its last 10 in a row.

"It was just a great game. I've known Don [Gregg] a long time and I feel bad for him, but not that bad. We scrimmaged them early in the year and they're definitely a different team."

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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