Cobras set to move up in soccer division

Team in final four for the first time


November 19, 2006|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN REPORTER

The Harford Tech boys soccer team had an unforgettable season, marching to the Class 1A state final four last weekend for the first time in school history.

There were plenty of heroes this season for the Cobras, but no one was happier than senior reserve forward Matt Oates. He was so excited after scoring the winning goal in a 3-2 overtime victory over Marriotts Ridge in the Class 1A North regional championship game that he ran off the field.

His slightly stunned teammates followed him and piled on for a wild victory celebration in front of the Cobras' home fans in Bel Air. It just wasn't a traditional post-game middle-of-the-field party.

Longtime Harford Tech coach Andy Bleichfeld had been waiting for a moment like that for 17 years.

Now Bleichfeld would like nothing better than to take the final two steps to a first state title next season, as Harford Tech (14-4-1 this season) moves up to the Chesapeake Division of the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference from the Susquehanna, which the Cobras won this season.

"It's going to be tougher next year," Bleichfeld said. "Playing in a higher league, it's going to be harder to get home-field advantage all the way to the states. But it's no need to stop now after 17 years."

Bleichfeld and his Cobras ran up against a powerful Pocomoke squad in the state semifinals at Washington College last weekend. After taking a 2-0 lead at halftime, Pocomoke continued to burn the attacking Cobras for goals on the big collegiate field, rolling to an 8-0 victory.

The Cobras' season was highlighted by a 2-1 double-overtime victory over 1A state finalist Sparrows Point Oct. 13, when leading scorer Stefan Stasak scored off a corner kick, going up high for the winning header.

"These players are absolutely wonderful," Bleichfeld said. "They come to Tech from all parts of the county for their trade. So putting them together on a soccer field takes some time. They play in the winter, spring and summer together and play well as a team."

Stasak finished with 19 goals and six assists and holds team records for most goals in a season, most points in a season (44), career goals (32) and career points (74).

Other key Tech performers this season were Mike Pistorio, Chuck Osborne, Kyle Ramsel, Jimmy Haskell, Shawn Stone, Tim Moeller, Aaron Diamond and Robert Breton.

Warriors ousted

The Havre de Grace volleyball team did plenty of positive things in its Class 1A state semifinal match with Southern of Garrett County Tuesday at Comcast Center. But the Warriors just couldn't do enough.

Southern brought in a loud group of fans that clearly affected Havre de Grace, and the Rams rolled to a 25-16, 25-18, 25-19 victory, ending the Warriors' season at 16-3.

Havre de Grace held an early 3-2 lead in the first game but never got on top again the rest of the match despite staying close.

Claire Sheldon led Havre de Grace with 10 kills, while Jillian Umetin helped with 15 assists. Havre de Grace finished with 21 assists, while Southern had 22. But the Warriors had 21 errors, compared to 11 for Southern, which proved too much to overcome.

"We didn't play like a team," Havre de Grace coach Angie Taddia said. "We made the mistakes."

Jeff Seidel contributed to this article.

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