Borelli's goal boosts Hammond, 1-0

Bears defeat No. 11 Century to reach state title game vs. Loch Raven

Boys soccer

November 11, 2006|By Will Chapman | Will Chapman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHESTERTOWN -- Let the rest of the Bears do the hard work. Hammond's Francisco Borelli is happy to play clean-up man.

On a play similar to the one that got his team to the Class 2A state semifinals at Washington College's Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium, Borelli's second-half finisher last night earned the Bears a 1-0 victory over No. 11 Century and a return trip to the state championship.

It was the second time in four days that Hammond (12-4-1) used a 30-yard free kick from junior midfielder Abbas Ebrahimnejad to stage an upset. On Tuesday, Borelli tapped in a loose ball on such a play to stun No. 8 Atholton in the South region final.

This time, Ebrahimnejad's offering from the left sideline found senior striker Wuroh Timbo, who out-leaped goalkeeper Jeff Rogers on a header. Rogers (three saves) tipped Timbo's shot upward, but Borelli slipped inside to give Hammond the lead with 19:18 remaining.

"The same thing happened to me in the Atholton game," Borelli said. "I immediately went to the second ball, and the ball just landed in the goal."

Said Timbo: "Abbas served me a good ball and I just went up with the keeper. It was going toward the goal, and [Borelli] just ensured it was going in."

Century defeated Hammond, 1-0, on Sept. 7, and the Knights (12-3-1) had several near-misses in the rematch.

Dan Alderman cut past three defenders late in the first half, only to shoot wide. Cory Chapman saw his drives cut off deep in the box, and moments before halftime Josh Meyer's 35-yard blast cleared the crossbar by inches.

Century outshot Hammond 7-4 in the second half. With 3:37 remaining, Knights junior forward Joe DeArmey cut in from the left side. Hammond goalie David Griffith (three saves) was off his line, but DeArmey's far-corner attempt sailed just wide.

"We had so many opportunities, but we just did not finish the ball," said Century head coach Scott Smith, whose team won its lone state title in 2003. "The kids played with heart. They played together, they played as a family ... we just didn't get it done. It's a shame, we had a great season, too."

Hammond will face No. 15 Loch Raven, a 1-0 winner over Queen Anne's County, in next week's championship at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. In last year's 2A final, the Bears took Liberty down to the wire before giving up the game's only goal in the final four minutes.

Loch Raven 1, Queen Anne's 0 -- It has been 29 years since Loch Raven reached a boys' soccer state final, but the 15th-ranked Raiders defeated the Fighting Lions 1-0 in the Class 2A state semifinals. With most of its team pushed forward ahead of junior first-team all-state sweeper Steve Ehatt, Loch Raven (13-4) outshot Queen Anne's 27-6, but against a 17-save performance from 6-foot-3 sophomore goalkeeper C.J. Johnson, it took the Raiders over more than 71 minutes to score. Johnson punched Tim Fiedler's left-wing attempt toward the top of the penalty box. After a short pass from Steve Meninger, junior midfielder Ben Underwood buried his shot in the right side of the net with 8:28 remaining. "He was a good goalie," Underwood said. "I got the ball on my foot and I just turned and shot and tucked it away." The Fighting Lions (16-1) entered the game unbeaten.

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