Defense hogs spotlight in Dulaney's 1-0 victory

Boys soccer

September 26, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Dulaney's defense played well enough to defeat 10th-ranked Sparrows Point, 1-0, yesterday, but the 13th-ranked Lions also got a little help from an unexpected guest.

With Sparrows Point threatening midway in second half, a groundhog found its way onto the Dulaney field.

"The ball came inside the six off a corner kick, right next to the rat, or at least I thought it was a rat, but it was a groundhog," said Sparrows Point forward Derrick Pusinsky, whose indecision allowed a defender to reach the ball first.

"I was just like, `Should I kick the ball or the groundhog,' " said Pusinsky, who watched as officials stopped the game to allow the groundhog to cross midfield and escape into the woods. "It was a wasted opportunity."

Sparrows Point out-shot Dulaney nearly 2-to-1, but a stellar defensive effort led by Danny and Chris Keppler, Mike Obringer and Eric Belt made James Russo's first-half goal stand up. Keeper Nick Warner (12 saves) recorded the third straight shutout for the Lions (3-2-1, 1-0 in Baltimore County's Division II) and fourth overall.

Dulaney's defense contained the Pointers' two top scorers, Dave Pusinsky (six goals) and Lamar Porter (four), and often forced Sparrows Point to rush its shots.

When the Pointers did get off their shots, Warner was there to bat the ball way or cradle it, as he did in stopping two long-range shot by Sam Nicolette in the second half.

"We knew they had fast forwards who were physical and liked to go to the goal, so we wanted to control them, pressure them, not let them take any good shots from the 18," said the 6-foot-4 Danny Keppler, who teamed with the 6-3 Belt to control head balls in the back. "Our midfield of Sean Rush, Eric Frey and Matt Bull basically controlled the game."

The Lions were coming off of Saturday's scoreless tie with Eastern Tech, a team Sparrows Point (5-1, 2-1) edged, 3-2, earlier in the season. The Pointers entered the game having outscored the opposition 23-3, with three shutouts for keeper Adam Volz (eight saves).

But during a first half when the Pointers out-shot the Lions 11-5, Russo booted in a rebound for the lone goal in the 21st minute.

"Sean Rush had the corner kick and kicked a low ball toward the six. I let it go through and Tyler Hagin took a shot that deflected off the keeper and I put it through with my right foot," Russo said.

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