No. 3 Sparrows Point ousts Clear Springs

McVey paces 2-0 victory

Pocomoke rolls

Boys soccer

Varsity

November 12, 2006|By Ayman Alam | Ayman Alam,Special to the Sun

CHESTERTOWN -- Seeking its first state championship since 1975, the third-seeded Sparrows Point boys soccer team took one step closer to its goal with a 2-0 victory yesterday in the Class 1A state semifinals over No. 2 seed Clear Springs at Washington College.

After playing two nail-biters against Poolesville and Pikesville, Sparrows Point was prepared to play another close game against Clear Springs. The Blazers had allowed only one goal in the playoffs, so goals were going to be hard to come by.

"We have a hard time scoring a lot of times anyway, but we're a good defensive team," Sparrows Point coach George Bisoff said.

At the 20:44 mark in the first half, aggressive play and a penchant for possession control paid off for the Pointers. The ball found Sparrows Point's Duston McVey off a deflection in the middle of the box and after putting on a left fake, the senior midfielder hit a grounder past Blazers goalkeeper Andrew Beadle.

"We wanted to work the ball wide and play it from the outside and into the middle," McVey said. "It's all about ball control and it's all about ball possession. If you don't have the ball you don't score.

"I saw him coming full speed, and he came in for a slide tackle," McVey said about his goal. "I sent him to the right, I went left, and shot it."

Sparrows Point outshot Clear Springs 13-1 and held possession for nearly 35 minutes during an overpowering first half. Bisoff substituted liberally to keep fresh bodies on the field and his players were the bigger, faster and more determined team.

In the second half, Clear Springs played with more energy, but most of it was channeled into frustration. With the Pointers looking to control the ball, the Blazers' frustration spawned ill-advised passes.

"Coach tells us to keep our composure in those situations," McVey said. "We don't want to do anything stupid and hurt the team."

With less than two minutes left in the game, Sparrows Point finished off the Blazers. Off a breakaway, junior Doug Parr found sophomore Chris Dieca on a cross from the right side which Beadle could not handle. After the ball trickled away from Beadle on the save attempt, Dieca kicked it in uncontested, sealing the victory. The Pointers outshot the Blazers 24-3, and dominated the game.

"We need to work on scoring and passing the ball," Bisoff said. "We can't miss close shots against good teams."

Pocomoke 8, Harford Tech 0 -- The Cobras' improbable run through the playoffs ended, as they fell to the top-seeded Warriors. The Cobras' first appearance in the semifinals tough, as an experienced Warriors team dominated and advanced to the finals against Sparrows Point. The berth in the finals is Pocomoke's fifth in the past seven years. Less than a minute into the game, the combination of Kyle Daugherty and Brooks Godwin connected for the Warriors. Off a lead pass from Daugherty, Godwin chipped it over Cobras goalie Kyle Ramsel, who was caught in the middle after overplaying in the box. Pocomoke freshman forward Sam Byrd increased the lead at the 27:18 mark on a free kick from 25 yards on the right side. The Warriors blew open the game in the second half. Ryan Bodley scored off a good entry pass from Byrd at the 36-minute mark. With 28:05 left, Godwin scored off a cross from Stephen Beauchamp and then assisted on a goal to Sean Nugent less than a minute later.

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