No. 2 South River falls in OT, 1-0

Thomas Johnson ends Seahawks' 9-game streak

Class 4A boys soccer

High School

November 07, 2001|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Thomas Johnson junior striker Lucas Dowiak proved his coach wrong last night.

Two weeks ago, in a regular-season game against Middletown, Dowiak drilled a perfect shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net. Last night, Dowiak struck a ball into the near-identical spot six minutes into overtime to give the Patriots a 1-0 victory over No. 2 South River in the 4A East Regional final at Chesapeake High in Pasadena.

"I told him after that first one, you may never hit one like that again," Thomas Johnson coach Mitch Rubin said. "He made a little bit of a liar out of me."

Thomas Johnson (14-1-2), which won its ninth consecutive game and registered its seventh straight shutout, advanced to the state semifinals for the first time. The Patriots will face Magruder of Montgomery County on Friday night at Magruder as part of a 4A semifinal doubleheader. The Colonels (12-2-1) defeated Springbrook, 2-1, last night in the 4A West Regional final.

South River (15-2-1), which had its nine-game winning streak broken, was foiled in its bid to reach the state semifinals for the first time since 1990. The Anne Arundel County champion held a slight edge in play throughout -- outshooting Thomas Johnson 6-4 and earning four corner kicks to one for the Patriots -- but only rarely threatened the Thomas Johnson goal.

The Patriots did not have many chances either, and the game's first shot did not come until the 25th minute. Thomas Johnson got its first shot in the second half. The Patriots' best chance in regulation came in the 61st minute when senior midfielder Jared Viola had a clear shot from 13 yards away, but put the ball well over the crossbar.

The Seahawks had three corner kicks and three shots in the second half and overtime period, but almost never cracked the Thomas Johnson defense. When they did, Thomas Johnson keeper Gladimir Elysee (four saves) shut the door.

"All year long we struggled with scoring, and we figured eventually it would catch up to us," South River coach Greg Carroll said. "The inability to finish caught up with us tonight. Their keeper made one or two nice saves, but the bottom line is they put it in the net when they had to put it in the net. I couldn't stick my hand down there and stick the ball up in the corner better than that. The shot was absolutely fabulous."

"It was a loose ball at first," Dowiak said. "It came down, and I tried to get control of it. I cut it back; it ended up in the middle of the 18 [-yard line]. I took the shot. Their defense was good, and they're an awesome team, but you only need a couple chances to win a game as long as your defense plays well."

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