North County upsets Severna Park, 1-0 Knights' defensive plan disrupts No. 11 Falcons

November 05, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Just like the movie "Hoosiers" North County came out of nowhere and won the 4A East Region championship by 1-0 over No. 11 Severna Park at Chesapeake High.

North County will play host to the state semifinal doubleheader Friday and is expected to play the Walt Whitman-Winston Churchill winner.

The unranked, unheralded Knights (9-6-1) became the first county team that would not have qualified for the playoffs under the old four-team system to win the 4A region under the open tournament format.

"The Orioles lost and they get paid more than we do," said Falcons' coach Don Gregg when told the result was a big surprise. The Falcons were looking to win their third consecutive region title and 12th overall in Gregg's 24 seasons.

Severna Park (10-6-1) routed North County, 6-0 during the regular season in which the North division Knights went 0-5-1 against the South division. Severna Park was second in the South and division winner Arundel, a 3-1 victor over North County in county play, was eliminated in a shootout by the Knights in the region semifinals Saturday, 2-1.

Sophomore Richie Guarnera's header provided the only goal midway through the first half on an assist from junior Ryan Moyer, whose older brother, assistant coach Shawn Moyer, devised the defense that stopped the Falcons.

Packing it in and flooding the back with two stoppers (Marty Dietrich and Josh Evans) meant facing more shots, but senior keeper Shawn Jones was up to the task with 13 saves.

The Falcons could not find the net on 16 shots while North County took just three shots, only one in the second half.

Knights first-year head coach, Greg Helms credited Shawn Moyer for the defensive scheme.

"Give all the credit to Shawn, " said Helms. "He came up with the defense in our last two games against Arundel and Severna Park, and it worked."

Moyer gained the confidence of the players big time after it led to Saturday's upset of Arundel.

"We realized that Severna Park likes to work the ball and that they're an excellent team in terms of skill, " said coach Moyer. "We packed the middle to mark up their midfielders and cut down on good shots."

Severna Park had several opportunities in the first half. Junior Billy Mooney came into the game with nine goals and five assists including a goal in each of the Falcons' first two playoff games.

Severn 1, Park 0: Senior Matt Wright scored with 11: 20 left in the game to lift the Admirals (14-0-4) to a home victory over the Bruins (10-6-1) in an MIAA B Conference semifinal game. The win marked the first time since 1987 that the Admirals have made the conference finals. Severn will face St. Paul's at 2: 30 Saturday afternoon at UMBC.

St. Paul's 1, St. Mary's 0: Senior Brett Shaver scored an unassisted goal to lead the visiting Crusaders (16-8) to win over the Saints (11-6-3) in an MIAA B semifinal game.

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.

Pub Date: 11/05/97

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