Oakland Mills' boys soccer team won its fifth straight Class 1A regional championship yesterday, defeating Poolesville of Montgomery County, 2-0.
The Scorpions (11-4) will play the winner of Elkton-Rising Sun Monday in the state semifinals.
`This is one of Oakland Mills' better teams," said Poolesville coach Doug Miller. `They usually have guys with speed, but this year they have three or four guys with a lot of skill, as well. They gave us trouble."
Although they showed much more of a short-passing game than the normal Oakland Mills team, the No. 11-ranked Scorpions followed their usual script of scoring off set pieces, and most of the pressure they put on Poolesville goalkeeper Bobby Fales came off long throws.
Oakland Mills put eight balls - on a combination of long throws, corner kicks, crosses and chips - in front of the Poolesville goal in the first half without scoring.
Then, with a strong wind at their backs, they put eight more in front of the goal before finally scoring in the 21st minute on a long throw by Kevin Magruder. Stanley Kaweesi was credited with the own goal on a kick that deflected off several players, including the goalkeeper.
"The wind was really bothering me," said Magruder, whose 40-yard throws have resulted in many of Oakland Mills' goals this season. "I couldn't keep control of the ball."
He was credited with an assist on Oakland Mills' second goal with 5:24 left in the game. His long throw went through the goalkeeper's hands, hit the crossbar and Casey Wilbur was there to head it back in from two feet away. It was Wilbur's fourth goal, three of them game-winners.
"That's a lot of pressure they put on our goalkeeper," Miller said. "And the areas around the goal were a muddy mess."
Poolesville (2-9), which had seven games cancelled because of the sniper shootings, has now lost to Oakland Mills in five of its six playoff meetings. The Falcons took only three shots.
"We've had trouble scoring this year," Miller said.
Oakland Mills coach Don Shea said: "All our regional games with Poolesville have been traditionally low-scoring, well-earned victories and today was no exception."
In the six games the teams have played, Oakland Mills has outscored Poolesville, 7-2.