Boys' Latin edges Park to defend B title

Fitch's goal in last 5:00 avenges loss, caps rally, 2-1

MIAA soccer

High Schools

November 09, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Defending co-champion Boys' Latin rallied from a one-goal halftime deficit to defeat Park, 2-1, in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship game yesterday at UMBC.

It was the Lakers' third MIAA title since the league began in 1995.

Justin Fitch, a transfer from Kenwood and Boys' Latin's leading scorer, one-touched his game-winning 19th goal to the lower left corner from the 6-yard line with 4:57 left. Davey Melera started the play with a cross.

"I just saw it coming across the box and ran onto it," said Fitch, who sat out last season when the Lakers were co-champions with Severn.

Boys' Latin (14-2-1) didn't move well off the ball in the midfield in the first half.

"We weren't getting any slashing runs," Lakers coach Don Rickels said. "We graduated seven seniors last year but felt we were the best team all season."

Not much separated Boys' Latin and Park (14-4-1) this season. Both had 11-2-1 regular-season records. They had tied 0-0, and Park had beaten Boys' Latin in overtime, 4-3, after trailing 3-0.

"We took that earlier loss personally," said Boys' Latin goalkeeper Chris Maisel. "We really wanted to play Park and we came in knowing we would win."

Park's Ben Ryugo gave the Bruins the lead in the 10th minute on a header off a re-start from Joe Levitan. Jay Smith tied it 1-1 in the 51st minute.

Park coach Lucky Malonee said: "The guys are hurting, but I'm proud of them. In preseason, I thought we'd be lucky to [go] .500."

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