Motivated Hawks soar to 5-1 victory No. 1 River Hill speeds from Easton in second half

Class 2A boys soccer

November 16, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

River Hill used last season's loss in the state finals as motivation for yesterday's Class 2A state championship victory.

"Losing really hurt a lot last year and we didn't want to go through that again," said sophomore Adom Crew, whose two goals led the Hawks to a 5-1 victory over Easton of Talbot County at Old Mill High.

No. 1-ranked River Hill (16-1), in just its second season, and with its entire team back from last season, became the youngest school to win a state soccer title.

The win was the ninth straight victory for River Hill, and was a state-high eighth state title for coach Bill Stara. This was the seventh straight season that Stara has coached a team in the state finals

Both River Hill and Easton each had two fast forwards with impressive scoring credentials.

But River Hill's Crew (16 goals, five assists) and Billy Allen (7 goals, 15 assists) outplayed Easton's Jason Ewing (25 goals) and Dantoine Bryan (25 goals) on a muddy field that made finely tuned midfield play difficult if not impossible.

Crew scored his eighth and ninth goals of the playoffs, and Allen had a goal and an assist, as River Hill exploded from its 1-0 halftime lead.

Crew was officially credited with the first goal in the 37th minute, although it was disputed since Randal Brown also touched the ball. The play developed when a Justin Gotis' shot bounced off the goalkeeper, Erik Higgenbottom, and ricocheted off Crew into the goal.

LTC "I thought at halftime that it was going to be a war," said River Hill captain Sam Salganik, one of four seniors on the team. "They were the most dangerous pair of forwards we played against this season."

Tod Tedrow (three goals) scored River Hill's second goal in the 49th minute on a breakaway off a long pass from fullback Aaron Pierce. It was the third straight game Tedrow scored a goal.

Easton (15-2-1), which has won three state titles, the last in 1994, made the game interesting with a goal in the 54th minute by Bryan. It was set up by a run down the left side by Ewing.

But Crew put the game away in the 68th minute on a diagonal shot from the right side. "Billy [Allen]played me a great ball," Crew said. "They seemed defeated after the the third goal."

After that, Allen scored in the 76th minute on a long-ball assist from Salganik. Allen three-touched it in off his right foot.

And when Brown was taken down in the box in the 77th minute, Salganik made it 5-1 with his fourth penalty kick of the season.

"Allen and Crew were on today, and I think Easton got mentally tired chasing them around," River Hill coach Bill Stara said. "We were focused and had something to prove."

Easton coach Chip Craig said: "We're not fast, so speed gives us trouble. In the second half, River Hill adjusted to our defending the touchlines well by creating 2-on-1 situations on the flank and then swinging it to the weak side. And our defense didn't adjust."

"River Hill played with more intensity in the second half. It's easy for a team that has received so much publicity to take a team like us lightly. But they gave us more respect in the second half. They and Bethesda are the two best teams we've played."

Pub Date: 11/16/97

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