Pointers share 1A crown, their first since 1975

Sparrows Point 1 Pocomoke 1

Boys Soccer

November 19, 2006|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

After the opening minutes of yesterday's Class 1A state title game against Pocomoke, Sparrows Point boys soccer coach George Bischoff began to get the feeling that his Pointers matched up well with the defending champions.

He partly attributed that to the wide field at UMBC Stadium that helped Sparrows Point's ball-handlers control the tempo for much of the game and create chances with some deft passing around the Warriors' penalty area.

Although the Pointers' confidence continued to build as the match wore on, they could not find the winning goal in a 1-1, double-overtime tie. The draw gave Pocomoke its second straight state championship and gave Sparrows Point its first state title in 31 years.

"I thought the whole season we had a good team," Bischoff said. "As the year went on, we got better and better. We could easily have won today."

The Pointers (11-3-2) had the daunting task of shutting down Pocomoke's three talented forwards, Brooks Godwin, Ryan Bodley and Kyle Daugherty, who have 52 goals this season. That attack created the game's first score in the 23rd minute, when Bodley took a pass from Godwin and then slotted the ball past goalie Josh Elliot from just inside the penalty area.

Sparrows Point tied the game 1:22 later when Mike Keller collected a loose ball at midfield and outran three defenders before pushing the ball inside the near post.

Keller nearly won the game with a nice run with 40 seconds left in the game, but his close-range shot was stopped by goalie Brandon Ennis (10 saves).

"This is great, but it is going to get better and better," said Keller, who finished the season with eight goals and three assists. "I'll be back next [year] for more. We couldn't have done this without our coach."

Pocomoke (11-5-2) dominated the overtime periods and almost won the game on Sam Byrd's free kick with 5:30 left in the first overtime that forced Elliot (nine saves) to make a diving stop.

Sparrows Point was making its first appearance in the state final since 1995, when it lost to Pocomoke, 3-1. The Pointers won state titles in 1973, 1974 and 1975. Pocomoke has played in five of the past six 1A championship games, also winning in 2001, 2003 and 2005. The Warriors also won state titles in 1988 and 1995.

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