Wilde Lake wiggles past Fallston, 2-0 Wildecats' rebuilt defense refuses to wilt on hot day

Boys soccer

September 15, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The players simmered in the extreme heat and humidity. The health department issued a red alert pollution advisory before the game. And defending Class 3A state champion Wilde Lake, cut at the last minute from Saturday's Lackey Tournament, skipped practice over the weekend.

Blend that all together and you've got a recipe for a sloppy Monday game.

When No. 6-ranked Wilde Lake (2-0) missed two easy shots in the first half, the heat, pollution and lack of practice weren't the only things making the Wildecats uncomfortable.

To their credit, the Wildecats hung in and prevailed, 2-0, against a Fallston team that usually gives them a competitive effort.

"It was typical Fallston," Wilde Lake coach Dave Nesbitt said. "They're very aggressive and challenge every 50-50 ball. We got canceled this weekend and it showed. We were sloppy and not focused. But the makings of a good team are there."

Fallston (2-2-1) had a fine opportunity in the opening minute with a one-on-one, but banged the ball high over the net.

The rebuilt Wilde Lake defense then settled down. Dominic Phillips, a Hammond transfer, started for the first time in a double sweeper set with Scott Terrill, and the two chased away most threats.

The few balls that got through them, goalkeeper Matt Thomas (six saves) showed for.

The frustrated Wilde Lake offense finally scored in the 68th minute, when Bobby Ratcliffe dribbled down the line and passed to Michael Dello-Russo at the 20-yard stripe. Dello-Russo's volley found the net at the near post.

Fallston came back a few minutes later with a shot off the crossbar. "That one really shook me up," goalkeeper Thomas said.

Wilde Lake's Alejandro Gironas scored the clincher in the 78th minute from 20 yards out, when Fallston goalkeeper Ken Klaus made a daring run at him but never got close. Gironas calmly chipped it into the net.

Ian Rodway was ejected following the goal for taunting.

"We were not as composed as we should have been but picked it up at the end," Dello-Russo said. "We weren't going to lose this game no matter what. They were good competition."

Pub Date: 9/15/98

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