Oakland Mills adds another state title to collection

Scorpions' 2-0 victory over Williamsport record 10th championship

Class 1A boys soccer

November 21, 1999|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Oakland Mills is like money in the bank.

The No. 2-ranked Scorpions won their 10th state title last night in their 11th state final appearance -- the most state titles by any school. And they repeated as Class 1A state champs, posting a two-year record of 34-3-1.

And the 2-0 victory over Williamsport of Washington County gave Howard County schools their third state title this season -- a feat also accomplished by Howard County in 1997 -- joining River Hill (3A) and Mount Hebron (2A).

The Howard County domination was so complete that none of those three schools gave up a goal during the playoffs this season.

Last night's game matched up the same two finalists as last season when Oakland Mills won, 4-1. This time Williamsport (19-2) tried a new strategy by going with one forward and five midfielders during the first half.

The strategy didn't work, since Oakland Mills led 1-0 at halftime after scoring in the 16th minute on a 6-yard kick by Jeremy Catlin, who was assisted by Jeremy Berndt. The play started on a long throw-in by Brian Grund.

"We thought that if we scored first they couldn't score on us," said Catlin, who played his best games this season during the playoffs. "If our defense can hold down River Hill it can hold down anyone."

Oakland Mills (18-1-1) was tested in the first half when goalkeeper Chris Ebeling made one terrific save on a shot that was well-struck. Ebeling pushed it up and over the goal from about 12 yards out.

"It would have been a different game if their goalkeeper doesn't put that one over the top," Williamsport coach Stan Stouffer said. "We played a good game against a tough opponent and it proves that the western counties can play just as good soccer as the Baltimore area. I don't like being the bridesmaid again and one of these years we're going to win it. We'll be back."

Williamsport's star striker, Carlos Gomez (19 goals, nine assists), was held in check.

"I thought we had them this year. I thought we were a better, more mature team," said Gomez. "But they got some cheap goals the same as last year. We knew what they had."

Oakland Mills scored its second goal when Grund scored off a pass from Catlin for his 10th goal of the season.

It was Oakland Mills coach Don Shea's seventh state title -- his sixth with Oakland Mills.

"This was the hardest one to win because it was back-to-back and expectations were high," said Shea, who made his team write a 36-page paper on `How To Win A State Title,' and who followed his normal pre-state-title-game superstition of having his team watch the movie `Hoosiers.' It was the first time Shea's Oakland Mills teams had won back-to-back titles.

Scorpion sweeper Glenn Hayman said: "It felt really good to win back-to-back and go out as a senior. There's nothing else much we could have accomplished this year."

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