Solee gets Wilde Lake off to good start, 3-1 Sophomore scores twice in victory over Bel Air

Boys soccer

September 09, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Wilde Lake coach Dave Nesbitt usually doesn't smile much early in the season, but the No. 6 Wildecats had him beaming after their season-opening 3-1 victory against Bel Air yesterday.

Two goals by slick sophomore Dan Solee were reason enough for Nesbitt's joy. Solee was playing his first high school game.

But a rebuilt defense also looked capable, holding the Bobcats -- expected to be the strongest team in Harford County this season -- scoreless until the final two minutes. By then the entire second Wildecats team and the third-string goalkeeper were playing.

Because Wilde Lake graduated its entire defense, one that allowed just 11 goals and recorded eight shutouts a year ago, the Wildecats appeared especially vulnerable this season defensively.

Instead, senior captain Scott Terrill at sweeper gave the defense an element of speed it lacked last season. "And Andrew Gilkin played well at outside left back for us," Nesbitt said.

Also impressive was defensive midfielder Josh Wanarka, a sophomore transfer from Texas.

"We definitely have more speed than last year," Nesbitt said. "Our core group played well and the newcomers were a welcome addition."

Wilde Lake goalkeepers, Matt Thomas who played the first half and Brandon Cohen, who played the second half, didn't get much of a test, however, because the Wildecats dominated the ball. They outshot Bel Air in the first half, 17-2, although they led just 1-0.

Solee scored in the 26th minute after taking a pass from Bobby Ratcliffe. Solee dribbled past two defenders and shot a right-footer inside the far post from six yards out.

It was Solee again in the 52nd minute as he bounced a cross off his chest, dribbled through three defenders and kicked a right-footer inside the far post from 15 yards out.

Solee didn't even play the first 15 minutes, because Nesbitt disciplined him for not showing up for the game early enough.

Forrest Watson kicked in the third goal a yard out after Michael Dello-Russo's corner kick slipped through the hands of Bel Air goalkeeper Mike Phillips in the 70th minute. Gusty wind was a factor.

It was a rare mistake for Phillips, who otherwise played well against constant pressure and recorded 14 saves.

"Our defense played pretty well," Phillips said. "We have speed and control and just need to jell. We'll be really good by the playoffs."

Bel Air and Wilde Lake both are Class 3A schools and could meet again in the playoffs.

Pub Date: 9/09/98

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