Stars streak to Columbia title

City club prevails in under-17 final, 8-0


May 30, 2000|By Gary Davidson | Gary Davidson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The SC Baltimore Stars could not have been more dominant than they were in sweeping the boys under-17 age group in the 25th annual Columbia Invitational Tournament at Fort Meade.

Ian Rodway had three goals and an assist, Kaiser Chowdhry two goals and two assists and George Bakoulas two goals and one assists as the Stars drubbed Torresdale (Pa.) FC Coppa, 8-0, in the final yesterday, capping a 6-0 holiday weekend in which they outscored the opposition 22-2.

"When we're on, we're on. And we were on this whole weekend," said Chowdhry, a McDonogh student. "We finally clicked. It's good because State Cup's next weekend.

Still, team members were singular in their conviction that the triumph here will mean nothing if they don't follow it with a victory Sunday in the Maryland Cup title match against Bethesda United. After all, the Stars were hand-picked last summer by UMBC assistant coach Anthony Adams with the sole purpose of making a run at the United States Youth Soccer national championship.

"We want to win states," said Rodway, a junior at Wilde Lake. "That's the whole purpose we got together and worked hard, just so we could get to states and go on to regionals and hopefully nationals."

On paper, yesterday afternoon's final had the makings for a hard-fought match, considering FC Coppa was the defending USYS under-16 RegionI champ and had taken crowns in its past three visits to Columbia. Meanwhile, the Stars were forced to play without potent striker Devin Barclay, an under-18 national team player and McDonogh student who was suspended for receiving his second yellow card of the tournament in yesterday morning's semifinal.

This, however, was not the FC Coppa team of past glory, missing, among others, standout midfielder Bobby Convey, who is now a part-time starter for Major League Soccer's D.C. United. Additionally, Coppa was riddled with injuries, including to its top two goalkeepers.

It took the Stars three minutes to take a 2-0 lead that was expanded to 5-0 at intermission and then 8-0 before Coppa coach George O'Neill was granted his request to terminate the match with 20minutes left to play.

In the first minute, Chowdhry took a pass from Rodway and nailed an 18-yarder into the top right corner. Two minutes later, Chowdhry sent a through ball to Rodway, who took the ball in stride and finished from 15yards to make it 2-0.

"The goalie came out and I kind of tucked it over him," Rodway said.

Soon after, Mike Joseph converted a penalty kick for a 3-0 advantage and the rout was on.

Overall, 285teams played 504games at 12 sites around Howard County over the three days.

Only two other Baltimore-area teams advanced to championship matches. In the girls under-10 final, Becky Cox sent a pass to Julianne Taylor, who scored after a long breakaway run to allow the SA Columbia Sharks (4-1) to avenge a loss in preliminary play with a 1-0 victory over Mount Laurel (N.J.) United. Megan Walsh made six saves for the shutout.

In the boys U-10 final, the Strongsville (Ohio) Stallions handed a 2-1 defeat to the Whitemarsh Warriors (2-1-1), with John Deasel scoring for the losers.

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