La Plata puts an end to Bel Air's streak, 1-0

November 11, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Bel Air's streak of five consecutive shutouts came to a halt last night, as La Plata of Charles County scored with 3: 51 left in the first half and went on for a 1-0 Class 3A semifinal victory.

The loss marked the second straight state semifinal loss for the Bobcats (9-5-2), who were outshot, 16-7.

"We didn't have enough good chances," said Bel Air coach Bill Jefferson. "They were just well-coached, very quick, well-skilled -- they really didn't have any weak spots."

After staying in a defensive posture early, the Bobcats nearly took the lead on two prime scoring chances near the end of the first half.

First, Jason Kemper got the ball deep in the Warriors' end, took two steps to his left and shot a low bullet that goalie Justin Detig kneeled to smother with his chest with 8: 21 left. Two minutes later, Jon Sobus sent his direct kick from 20-yards off the crossbar and out of play.

That opened the door for La Plata (16-1-1), which took the lead on Andrew Wildermann's impressive effort 3: 51 before the break. After receiving a pass about 25-yards out, Wildermann drove in, juked two defenders and fired a shot to the left of goalie Ian Minnichbach to make it 1-0.

The Warriors missed a golden chance to extend their lead 3: 15 into the second half, but Wildermann missed an open net following Ryan Murphy's throw-in.

"We executed our game plan as good as we can," said La Plata first-year coach Chris Butler. "We tried to work it outside and get some crosses in. Luckily for us, on the couple chances [Bel Air] had my keeper came up big."

Wilde Lake 2, Walter Johnson 0: For the Wilde Lake and Walter Johnson soccer teams, the similarities were many. Both shared the same nickname, lost in state finals last season and clad themselves in green uniforms.

In last night's Class 3A state semifinals at Linganore High School, however, that's where the comparisons ended.

Freshmen Ian Rodway and Michael Dello-Russo each scored goals, and Wilde Lake controlled the midfield most of the way.

With their eighth shutout this season, the Wildecats (12-2-2) advance to the Class 3A state finals Saturday against Bel Air at Old Mill High School.

Pub Date: 11/11/97

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