Perry Hall defeats High Point in shootout, advances to final

MacDonald's play at keeper lifts Gators after 1-1 draw

Class 4A boys soccer

High Schools

November 10, 2001|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DERWOOD - When Perry Hall senior goalkeeper Ian MacDonald makes a decision, he sticks to it.

Last night in a Class 4A boys soccer semifinal, MacDonald saved two of three penalty kicks to lead the Gators to a 4-1 shootout victory over High Point of Prince George's County after a 1-1 draw that stood through 20 overtime minutes.

A High Point penalty kick with a minute left in regulation sent the game into extra minutes, offsetting a 13th-minute goal by Perry Hall midfielder Matt Pszcolka, who slammed home a low 20-yarder after getting a pass at the top-right of the penalty box.

The victory put Perry Hall into the Class 4A final for the second time in school history and the first time since 1995.

"I always have it planned out before they even come to the ball," said MacDonald, who had five saves before the shootout. "I already know where they're going. I've just always been good at them. I just pick a side and guess and go with it. I don't second-guess myself when they approach the ball. You can't wait at this level. People shoot too hard, and they shoot too well. You can't give them that much; you've just got to go."

The Gators (14-3) will face Magruder of Montgomery County at UMBC next week at a time to be determined. The Colonels (13-2-1) defeated Thomas Johnson of Frederick County, 2-0, in the evening's first semifinal. Neither Perry Hall nor Magruder has won a state boys soccer title.

Perry Hall, which kicked first in the shootout, led 2-1 when MacDonald dove to his left to deny High Point's leading scorer Richard Asare. After senior midfielder Dale Scrimger gave the Gators a 3-1 lead with a low shot to the right, MacDonald denied High Point senior Childe Nwigwe with another diving save.

"I knew if we got to penalty kicks, we'd have a pretty good shot," Perry Hall coach Brian Moen said. "Ian has always done an excellent job on penalty kicks. If there's one person on the field who probably wanted this to come down to penalty kicks, it might have been Ian. I think he likes that kind of one-on-one. What can you say? He does a fantastic job."

After MacDonald's second save, senior forward Marin George sent the Gators to the title game with a shot off High Point keeper Adam Amaya's hands.

High Point (13-2-1), a flashy, individually talented and multi-national team comprised of players from 11 nations, sent the game into overtime with a goal in the 79th minute. Senior captain Stephen Deroux drew a penalty kick when he was taken down from behind in the penalty box, and Asare scored his 16th goal of the season.

"It showed a great amount of character," MacDonald said. "We've got a great bunch of guys that deserve to go this far. We've worked so hard all year."

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