Wilde Lake shakes off determined Northern, takes region title, 2-0 Wildecats again advance to state 3A semifinals

November 05, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

OWINGS -- With two freshmen leading the offense and a quintet of seniors leading the defense, No. 7-ranked Wilde Lake won its third straight regional championship yesterday by defeating Northern of Calvert County, 2-0.

Coach Dave Nesbitt's Wildecats (11-2-2) didn't clinch the Class 3A East Region title game until the 74th minute, when Scott Terrill scored the Wildecats' second goal off a beautiful counterattack orchestrated from midfield by freshman Ian Rodway.

Wilde Lake will play the winner of the Walter Johnson/Linganore West Region game in the state semifinals Friday or Saturday at an undetermined site and time. The Wildecats will be seeking their first state title since 1991.

"Rodway's composure was remarkable for a freshman," Wilde Lake coach Dave Nesbitt said. "And Lars [Berg] organized the back well. I don't like a 1-0 game that late.

"[Northern's] athleticism and speed showed in the second half and caused us some problems, but our seniors showed composure and got us back in control."

For nearly 25 minutes of the second half, until Terrill's picture-perfect, full-tilt goal from 18 yards out, Northern kept things interesting and narrowly missed scoring on two occasions.

The Patriots' first near-miss in the 50th minute went just wide of an unguarded goal, and the second one, in the 62nd minute, was kicked out by fullback Matt Shapiro when goalkeeper Nick Parypinski was again out of the goal.

"We dominated the first half, but lost our composure in the second half," Berg said. "We had trouble keeping possession in the second half."

Wilde Lake, in winning its 11th overall regional title and fifth in 10 seasons under Nesbitt, scored its first goal in the 15th minute on a straight kick by freshman Michael Dello-Russo off a pass from Josh Mazalweski.

"I was unguarded and kicked it from about 12 yards out into the lower right corner," said Dello-Russo. It was his fifth goal to go with five assists. "We won more 50-50 balls and were more physical in the midfield."

In contrast to Wilde Lake, which won its fourth regional title in the past five seasons and is also a six-time state champ, Northern (7-5-3) was playing in its first regional championship game, and Patriots' coach Colin Grimsey thinks that lack of playoff experience may have caused his team to be tight in the first half.

"Wilde Lake is the best team we've faced this season -- better than Thomas Stone or La Plata," he said. "They have good team defense, a patient offense and are well-coached. They're an excellent team with a good chance to win states. I thought we showed we have state-level skills but are a program that is just getting off the ground."

No. 4 Spalding 7, No. 2 McDonogh 0: Forward Justin Muller scored three second-half goals as the Cavaliers (14-4-2) rolled past the host Eagles (17-3-1) in a MIAA A Conference semifinal. Spalding will meet Calvert Hall in the A Conference championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday at UMBC.

No. 3 Calvert Hall 1, No. 8 Curley 0: Cam Letke's team-high 17th goal of the year off a cross from P.J. Wakefield 10 minutes into the second half lifted the Cardinals (18-3) to an MIAA A Conference semifinal victory over the visiting Friars (11-6-2).

Pub Date: 11/05/97

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