Gators battle to 'the very last whistle' before falling short against Bowie, 2-1

boys soccer 4A final

November 16, 2008|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,glenn.graham@baltsun.com

In last night's Class 4A boys soccer championship, Perry Hall found itself up against an undefeated Bowie team that came to UMBC Stadium with gifted skills and speed and size to match.

The No. 3 Gators did all they could - evidenced by the strong performance by senior goalie Zach Kane - but couldn't overcome the talented team from Prince George's County in coming away on the short end of a 2-1 result.

Bowie, which got the game-winning goal from junior midfielder Dylan Thompson in the 54th minute - captured the program's eighth state crown and first since 1991 in ending with an 18-0 mark. The Gators, the state runners-up for a second straight year, finished their season 17-3.

Thompson's game-winning goal was an indication of how difficult a time the Gators presented.

Kane got in front of his first chance from 4 yards and got back up to turn away the rebound, but the ball came right back to Thompson for an easy header on his third try.

The Gators pushed for the tie, but it never came, with John Shipley, who scored the tying goal earlier in the second half, having two chances off a corner kick with 14 minutes to play. But his first shot was turned aside by goalie Curtis Fisher, and a defender got in front of his second chance.

"It's hard to find words at this point - it's really disappointing," Perry Hall coach Danny Skelton said. "At the start of the season, the goal was to win this game, not just make it back. We wanted to walk off with the first-place trophy. I couldn't be more proud of the boys. Tonight was the perfect example of the character they have - we fought to the very last whistle and definitely had a few chances to get the equalizer, but it just wasn't bouncing our way tonight."

Bowie scored first when junior forward Brian Graham fired a free kick from 22 yards; Kane deflected it off the crossbar and senior Josh Patterson headed the ball home. Shipley headed home a cross sent in by Collin Rome to tie the score at 1 with 38:12 to play.

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