Rare deficit doesn't prevent Boys' Latin from topping Gilman

Rallo scores two goals as Lakers prevail, 3-1, tie record with 16-0 mark

Boys soccer

October 24, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Boys' Latin faced its first deficit of the season yesterday after Gilman's James Pilgrim beat diving keeper Matt Tielsch with a penalty kick late in the first half.

The visiting Lakers, already frustrated by Gilman's physical play, watched their vocal assistant coach, Mark Nichols, leave the field, ejected for arguing the call that resulted in the Greyhounds' one-goal lead.

But the Lakers rallied for a 3-1 victory, which tied the school record for wins without a loss and clinched the No. 1 seed heading into next month's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference playoffs.

Joey Rallo used his head to score once in each half, and Matt Field had a goal and an assist as Boys' Latin improved to 16-0 (12-0 league). The Lakers have outscored their opponents 50-4 and have recorded a school-record 12 shutouts. Tielsch gave up his fourth goal of the season, putting him on pace for the Lakers' single-season record for fewest allowed. He finished with a season-high 12 saves yesterday.

Boys' Latin can eclipse the regular-season record for wins (16-0), established by the 1986 championship team, with a win over visiting Park tomorrow.

"Our pre-game talk was of execution and composure," said Lakers coach Butch Maisel, who, in his 17th season, will retire at the end of the year. "It was a real gut check for the kids, and they responded."

After two collisions between Tielsch and Gilman players, Lakers defender J.R. Stahl retaliated by shoving a third Greyhound in the box. An official ruled that Stahl had attempted to "elbow" the Gilman player and awarded a penalty kick to Pilgrim.

"They had been running into Matt all game, and I've got to protect my goalie," said Stahl, who was part of a Lakers' defense that limited Gilman (8-7, 7-4) to only four shots in the second half. "I was confident we'd get it done. We just had to step up and take it to them."

The Lakers practiced set plays for 40 minutes on Monday, and, yesterday, Rallo rose above a crowd to score on two of them. He tied the score with 47 seconds left in the half, one-timing Adam Hagelin's corner kick to the left of keeper Dan Ross (10 saves). The go-ahead goal, off Field's lead pass, rippled the net's left side with 48 minutes to play.

"The first one was a nice cross that I went up for and was able to place in from about the 6 [yards]," said Rallo, who has used his head to score seven goals this fall. "Second goal, I just ran under the ball and was able to get it in."

The Lakers fired 14 shots in the second half, getting offensive pressure from Justin Buddemeyer, Eric Sivertson, Matt Ribakow and Matt Kozera. Kozera, coming off a bout with pneumonia, missed three quality shots -- once hitting the crossbar of an empty goal.

With three minutes to play, Field got behind Ross, who bobbled the ball, and scored an empty-netter. "Joey's goal at the end of the first half made it even for the second. We just kept the momentum going, set up good shots," Field said.

Calling it his team's best effort of the year, Pilgrim said that Gilman, who lost earlier to Boys' Latin, 1-0, looks forward to possibly facing the Lakers in the playoffs.

"I knew one goal wouldn't be enough to win today because they're too big, strong, and make you work 10 times as hard," he said. "But we'll be gunning for them in the playoffs. Maybe they can't beat us three times in a row."

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