Scorpions rip larger Wilde Lake, 4-1, go 5-0 Caitlin's two goals lead Class 1A Oakland Mills past 3A Columbia rival

Boys soccer

September 26, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

After back-to-back losing seasons, Oakland Mills again has a championship-caliber team.

Winners of eight state soccer titles, more than any other Maryland school, the No. 7-ranked Scorpions have struggled since their last one in 1994, partly because of declining enrollment that has dropped them to the state's smallest classification, Class 1A.

But yesterday against No. 6-ranked, cross-Columbia rival Wilde Lake, Oakland Mills' rugged style of play and pressure defense overcame the Wildecats' short-passing offense for a 4-1 victory.

Larger Wilde Lake, the defending Class 3A state champion and a school with seven state titles of its own, is now 2-2 overall and 0-1 in Howard County.

Oakland Mills remained unbeaten and atop the county standings, 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the league.

The first 15 minutes at Wilde Lake yesterday were extremely intense, physical and fast-paced. Both sides missed scoring opportunities.

Oakland Mills' Kyle Farmer, a tall, fast striker who played defense last season, opened the scoring in the 15th minute off an assist from Jeremy Catlin. Farmer's left-footed volley from 12 yards beat Wilde Lake goalkeeper Matt Thomas.

Four minutes later, Wilde Lake tied it on a 20-yard, left-footed volley from Michael Dello-Russo -- the only goal Oakland Mills goalkeeper Chris Ebeling has surrendered this season.

After that, Oakland Mills coach Don Shea assigned Steve Blakely to mark Dello-Russo, and the game swung toward Oakland Mills.

"Blakely was definitely the man of the match," Shea said. "His defense allowed Catlin to score two goals and an assist and Trevor Shea to score a goal and an assist."

Not long after a shot by Farmer bounced off the crossbar, Catlin put Oakland Mills ahead to stay in the 35th minute on a shot off his right toe from 6 yards.

Catlin (four goals, one assist for the season) made it 3-1 in the 55th minute by heading in Shea's corner kick from 8 yards.

And Shea, a sophomore midfielder and the coach's son, finished the scoring by popping a soft shot from 15 yards over the head of Wildecats goalkeeper Brandon Cohen, who replaced Thomas in the second half.

"They put on good pressure, and we needed to hit the ball faster," said Dello-Russo, Wilde Lake's sophomore play-maker. "The difference between beating them last season and losing today was defensive composure in the back. We forced the ball when we were under pressure."

Wilde Lake graduated its entire defense from last season.

"We didn't play well," Wilde Lake coach Dave Nesbitt said. "But if the guys who are supposed to be our [best] players finish, then we do well."

Pub Date: 9/26/98

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