Wilde Lake gets break, bounces Glenelg, 1-0 Freshman has only goal as Gladiators hang tough

Boys soccer

October 08, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Fourth-ranked Wilde Lake has fast forwards, aggressive midfielders and stingy defenders, but there's one more thing that every good soccer team needs to be successful.

"You need luck," said Wildecats coach Dave Nesbitt with a laugh.

Despite getting the upper hand in nearly every statistical category, the three-time state runners-up needed a lucky bounce of the ball to score their only goal of the game yesterday in a 1-0 win over visiting Glenelg.

The decisive play came a little over 10 minutes into the first half. Trying to pass the ball in their own end, the Gladiators lost control and Wilde Lake freshman Ian Rodway pounced on it. He then fired in a shot from 15 yards out on the left side.

"We tried to play the ball back and we just missed it," said Glenelg coach Peter Klisas. "I think that was the only break of the game."

Said Rodway: "I ran to it and saw the left side open, because the goalie was cheating to the right, so I just shot it."

The goal was the Wildecats' last, though they had numerous opportunities. Wilde Lake (6-1-1 overall, 4-1-0 in the Howard County League) outshot Glenelg, 17-5, and seemed to get stronger as the game progressed.

But each time the Wildecats knocked, Gladiators keeper Justin Benoliel was there to answer, coming up with save after acrobatic save down the stretch.

One came on a close-range shot by Michael Dello-Russo 11 minutes into the second half, and another on Robert Ratcliffe's effort off a feed from Scott Terrill that Benoliel (11 saves) met with a dive with 15 minutes to play.

"I think our goalkeeper did an excellent job," said Klisas. "He made some great saves, and I think he's a class keeper."

Though his effort kept Glenelg (6-4, 3-3) within striking distance, the Gladiators were never able to capitalize, getting off just two shots on goal for the game.

Wilde Lake players said they remembered last year's upset loss to Glenelg and were bent on preventing a repeat performance.

"I just wanted to get them back," said sweeper Lars Berg.

Berg heads up a defense that features the same players that helped record seven shutouts a year ago. After losing their top three scorers, however, the offense is still a sore spot.

Pub Date: 10/08/97

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