Glenelg blanks River Hill, 4-0, clinches share of county title

Burford scores hat trick in upset of No. 2 Hawks

Boys soccer

High Schools

October 18, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Glenelg forward Josh Burford led the No. 15 Gladiators to a pair of memorable firsts yesterday at River Hill.

Burford, who scored a hat trick in the 4-0 upset of the second-ranked Hawks, celebrated with his teammates Glenelg's first county soccer championship as they clinched a tie with one game left to play.

They can win the title outright by beating Wilde Lake on Tuesday.

The Gladiators (11-2 overall, 7-1 league) also celebrated the school's first victory over River Hill.

"This is awesome," said Burford, the county's leading scorer with 15 goals and four assists. "River Hill always makes me nervous. I felt tingles all day at school. My teammates all played well to make this happen."

It was right halfback Gary Coble, not Burford, who actually scored the game-winning goal in the 33rd minute. Coble kicked a left-footed shot to the near post from inside the 18-yard box to give the Gladiators a 1-0 halftime lead. It was their first shot of the game.

That goal changed the entire momentum, as River Hill (10-2-1, 7-2) had appeared in control until that point and ended up outshooting Glenelg in that half, 9-2.

"We played fine in the first half, but we didn't finish," said Hawks coach Bill Stara. "We hit four posts, and their first strike goes in."

Mo Hamzeh hit the left post on a one-on-one with the goalkeeper in the 15th minute. Brian Chun missed a header moments after Hamzeh's miss. And Justin Hughes missed an open 8-yarder high over the crossbar.

Glenelg coach Peter Klisas said his team was mentally tired after four tough games in seven days and played at only 75 percent of its capability.

The Gladiators lost a 5-2 game Tuesday to St. Mark's of Wilmington, Del., a top East Coast team. They beat Mount Hebron, 3-2, in overtime last Friday and No. 8 Oakland Mills, 5-0, on Monday.

"We really weren't concerned about River Hill like we were in the past," said Klisas. "We felt confident with our defenders. But I'm giving the team off until Monday, because we need the rest."

Klisas said that River Hill didn't exert the kind of pressure that he expected.

He praised the defensive play of Brad Costantino, Brendan Lewis and Jimmy Osborne.

Stara singled out Glenelg goalkeeper Kyle Goldman. "He played exceptional."

Burford scored Glenelg's second goal in the 55th minute on a ball that skidded off a defender's back and over to him on the left side. Burford kicked it in left-footed.

In the 59th minute, Burford made it 3-0 on a penalty kick after a long throw-in by Matt Showman hit a River Hill player's hand in the box. Burford missed the first attempt, but Hawks goalkeeper Dave Marquart was called for coming off his line too soon, and Burford put away his second chance.

"The first one slipped off the side of my foot because I was nervous," Burford said.

His last goal, from inside the 6-yard box in the 64th minute, was off a cross from Showman.

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