Dealt a tough card, Oakland Mills falls to Pocomoke in 1A

Johnson's ouster is big as No. 2 Scorpions fall, 2-1

Century, Parkside to meet

Boys soccer state semifinals

High Schools

November 09, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec and Rich Scherr | Jeff Zrebiec and Rich Scherr,SUN STAFF

For the second time in three seasons, Pocomoke ended the Oakland Mills boys soccer team's reign atop Class 1A amid plenty of controversy.

The Warriors, out of Worchester County on the Eastern Shore, got a goal by Jackie Whitehead early in the second half and hung on to beat the second-ranked Scorpions, 2-1, in the state semifinals last night at South River.

Oakland Mills (12-2-0) played much of the game without standout striker Saah Johnson, who was issued a yellow-red card for excessive celebration after scoring the tying goal at the 18:12 mark of the first half.

Asked what was the difference in the game, Scorpions coach Don Shea said, "Throwing out our All-American. I've reffed for a long time and as a ref, you're taught not to influence the outcome of the game. Did that influence the outcome of the game? ... What does [Johnson] have, 20 goals?"

Oakland Mills, whose 12 state crowns are a record, won four titles in five seasons, with the only blemish being a 3-1 loss to Pocomoke in the 2001 state final.

Pocomoke (15-3), which will play Williamsport for the state title, watched a video of that game on the bus ride over to Edgewater and then came out and scored the first goal just over 10 minutes in as Rob Godwin's volley was tipped by Scorpions goalkeeper Dan Rogers but still found the back of the net.

The Scorpions answered 11 minutes later when Johnson ran onto a loose ball in the Warriors' box, sidestepped one defender and hit a right-footed shot into the corner of the net for his 20th goal of the season.

Johnson then ran back toward his team's end and, trailed by a couple of his teammates, lifted his jersey over his head, revealing a blue Superman T-shirt.

Play was stopped and Johnson was then shown both the yellow and red cards.

Since it was a yellow-red card, the Scorpions were allowed to replace Johnson, and Oakland Mills did carry much of the play in the second half, with forward Alex Douyon making dangerous runs and Brian Hamilton's long throw-ins creating problems for the Warriors' defense.

But the Scorpions couldn't answer Whitehead's goal, which came at the 31:49 mark of the second half.

On their last good chance with about 11:30 to play, Douyon beat two defenders, but his cross to the far post was cleared.

"I don't mean to sound like sour grapes," Shea said. "Pocomoke is a good team, and they played very well."

Williamsport 1, Loch Raven 0: The Wildcats (16-2) of Washington County advanced to the state final as Chris Ciccarelli's first-half goal held up against the Raiders (12-4) at South River.

Ciccarelli headed in senior Ben Jordan's long throw just past the outstretched arms of Raiders keeper Tom Kuntzman about five minutes before halftime.

Loch Raven was outshot 21-6, but stayed in the game because of Kuntzman, who made 12 saves, some of them sparkling.

The Raiders (12-4), who were making their first state semifinal appearance since 1980, came in off a 3-0 upset of Sparrows Point in the 1A North final.

Class 2A

Century 0, Eastern Tech 0 (Century wins, 4-3, on penalty kicks): Following 90 minutes of scoreless regulation and two sudden-death overtimes, host Century got penalty kicks from Kris Chinnery, Kyle Dietz, Kevin Brilhart and Steve Romeo to outlast Eastern Tech, 4-3, in a shootout.

The Knights (10-2-3), in just their second year of varsity play, will face Parkside in the Class 2A state final at UMBC.

Century has won two of its past three games in shootouts.

"We've been in this situation so many times ... that we're not as nervous as we were the first time," said Romeo.

Bryan Moffa, Lee Diegel and Andrew Kordula scored for the Mavericks (12-4-2).

Each team had chances to win in regulation.

In the first half, Century appeared to take the lead on Romeo's short-range shot from the left side, but the ball rolled under the side of the net.

Then, with about 4 minutes left in regulation, Eastern Tech nearly scored on Moffa's direct kick from 25 yards out. Keeper Chris Jones managed to tip it just over the crossbar.

Parkside 1, Atholton 0: Nick Solano scored off a deflection in a crowd with 6:09 left in the second sudden-death overtime, lifting Wicomico County's Parkside over Atholton in the Class 2A state semifinals at Century.

The ball dribbled about a foot into the goal, ending 93:51 of defensive-oriented play.

"The defender was trying to shield me, and I just tried to run through it and get a tip on it," said Solano, whose team improved to 16-2. "I just got lucky."

Atholton (9-7), which starts a freshman and five sophomores, controlled play for most of the first half, but failed to cash in.

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