No. 4 Mavericks rout previously undefeated Towson for boys’ repeat; Pointers claim girls’ crown on Zacierka’s OT golden goal (VIDEO HERE!)


2018 BALTIMORE COUNTY BOYS SOCCER CHAMPIONS
EASTERN TECH MAVERICKS

by Nelson Coffin

A year after topping Towson in the Baltimore County boys soccer championship in overtime on penalty kicks, Eastern Tech wanted to make a more definitive statement in this year’s title match.

Even with that lofty objective in mind, the Mavericks outdid themselves by ripping the previously unbeaten Generals, 4-0, on Tuesday evening in the first game of a doubleheader at Catonsville Community College.

“We wanted to show what we’re about,” said Eastern Tech Isaac Ngobu, who scored twice for the Mavericks. “For us to put up four goals on a goalie who has only given up one goal (in any game this season) says it all about our team.”

Towson and its superb sophomore goalie Caeden Fong had not yielded more than one goal in any game this season, a total that was matched in the second minute by Eastern Tech senior halfback Ryan Cummings.

That quick first goal helped to get the fourth-ranked Mavericks (12-1-1 overall) off to a flying start in the contest, yet they kept looking for more.

To that end, senior midfielder Ngobu was in perfect position to do just that in the 53rd minute. After a long ball by junior midfielder Arsalan Ahmad was played over a Towson defender’s head on a big hop, Ngobu softly headed a shot that trickled past Towson sophomore goalie Caeden Fong to give the Mavericks a 2-0 bulge.

A couple of minutes later, Ahmad blasted a rocket that Fong had no chance to stop to make it 3-0.

The lead grew to 4-0 in the 78th minute on Ngobu’s second goal of the game and 10th of the season (to go with 11 assists).

It could have been worse but wasn’t, primarily because Fong made a brilliant save late in the opening half to deny junior halfback Matthew Davis.

As Davis collected the ball and motored swiftly ahead of a pair of Towson defenders, Fong rushed off his line to smother the shot while sliding to the turf.

Despite that great save and another one on Nobu late in the match, the Mavericks had better anticipation, pace and determination than the Generals (10-1-2) in the convincing victory.

“I don’t think the score was indicative of how the game went,” veteran Towson coach Randy Dase said. “But Eastern Tech is a well-oiled machine, and I think their speed, quickness and maturity were a little too much for us.”

Towson did give a good account of itself several times, especially when sophomore midfielder Nick Lewis unleashed a direct kick from 30 yards over the crossbar midway through the opening half and senior midfielder Grant Kuehn also sent a shot over the goal on a pass from classmate Bryce Vanik with seven minutes left in the first period.

In the second half, Towson’s best chance came when senior midfielder Rome Wainwright ’s header drifted just wide.

2018 BALTIMORE COUNTY GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONS
SPARROWS POINT POINTERS

The second game of the doubleheader was far less explosive than the first, but was still an entertaining battle between No. 3 Sparrows Point (11-0) and 12th-ranked Perry Hall (12-3) with both teams threatening to score in regulation without any success.

The drought lasted until Sparrows Point senior Danielle Zacierka pushed forward from her defensive duties as an outside back to score the game winner with just under three minutes left in the first overtime period.

“I was playing defense the whole time,” she said. “I thought there would be more opportunities if I moved up. I saw an opening and I took it. Everybody was cheering. I didn’t even know it went in. I was just so overwhelmed that I started crying.”

It was tears of joy for the Pointers, who lost to Hereford in last year’s league final. Hereford scored twice in the final 2:36 to stun Sparrows Point.

The Pointers got redemption Tuesday, though it took a while.

Senior forward Jasmine Pinter was Sparrows Point’s most dangerous threat prior to overtime, taking two promising shots in the 23rd and 28th minutes, respectively.

Senior keeper Lauren Gwin brushed aside Pinter’s first offering before stuffing the second one on an excellent maneuver to keep the game scoreless.

Just to be sure, Gwin made a similar move to deny Pinter five minutes into the second half.

Perry Hall (12-3) had its chances as well, first when senior midfielder Annie Kim broke free inside the penalty area but could not solve Pointer senior goalie Jaddah Foos.

Later, senior forward Kara Dietrich struck a heavy shot that was also gobbled up by Foos.

Still, Perry Hall coach Matt Smoot and the Gators learned a lot about themselves in the narrow setback.

The way they played defense, led by the junior trio of Mackenzie Click, Aya Neal and Caroline Warns, should help them in the upcoming playoffs.

“Even against faster players, they’re so smart and they know how to take better angles,” he said about Click, Neal and Warns.

Smoot added that Gwin had no chance to stop the game’s only goal.

“She played really well,” he said. “There’s nothing she could have done about that.”

BALTIMORE COUNTY SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP

AT CATONSVILLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

GIRLS FINAL

NO. 3 SPARROWS POINT 1, NO. 12 PERRY HALL 0 OT
PH 0 0 0 — 0
SP 0 0 1 — 0
Goal: SP-Danielle Zacierka
Saves: PH-Lauren Gwin 5; SP-Jaddah Foos 4

BOYS FINAL

NO. 4 EASTERN TECH 4, NO. 8 TOWSON 0

TOW 0 0 — 0
ET 1 3 — 4
Goals: ET-Isaac Ngobu 2, Ryan Cummings, Arsalan Ahmad.
Assists: ET-Arsalan Ahmad 2.
Saves: ET-; T-Caeden Fong 6.