Been there, done that is a saying that the Marriotts Ridge Mustangs have been exemplifying in this 2010 season, standing just one step shy of their 2009 state title after a 5-0 state semifinals win over Eastern Tech, Friday, at Bel Air High School.
“We played really well. We took control of the game in the first half, took possession and wore them down a bit,” Mustang Head Coach Kevin Flynn said. “We went in at halftime and talked about what we had to do to get some goals on the board, and the kids came out and executed.”
Possessing the ball and ripping 13 shots on the Maverick goal in the first half, it took the Mustangs 11 shots before senior forward Michael Glazer was able to work a header past the Eastern Tech goalie for a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute.
After the halftime discussion, Glazer mad his presence felt again in the upper-third of the field when he laced another two goals in the first 22 minutes of the second half to complete his hat trick.
“The ball was a great ball on a corner kick from Brad Martinelli,” Glazer said of his first goal. “The second was created by my other forward, Eathan Bannar. He crossed me in, and the third was Brad Martinelli, again, giving me a little chip ball and I finished it away.”
Finishing it may have been a bit humble, as Glazer worked his way to a clean shot after receiving the chip ball, rocking the ball backwards before lacing it inside the near post for a 3-0 lead.
Other goals for the Mustangs were scored by sophomore Connor Delaney (66th minute) and senior David Safren (68th minute) for the 5-0 final, with Martinelli earning three assists.
“We try to work the ball from the back, and our outside-backs did a great job getting wide, opening up, and we played through the back well,” Glazer explained. “We got a lot of crosses in and converted.”
Standing in the goal for the Mavericks, junior Matt Wright must have felt as if he was facing a firing squad, making 10 saves while weathering 23 shots and battling seven corners.
“Matt is a hardnosed player, and, when things get tough, he finds a way to work through it,” Maverick’s head coach Peter Glaudemans said. “Obviously there were some very difficult times in the second half, and they way he handled himself in the final 10 minutes was admirable.
“I thought we were on our heels in the first half, but I thought we played it well. In the second half, we worked through it hard. We just got beat by a better team.”
Despite the loss, the Mavericks have already improved on last year’s finish with their fourth regional championship in the school’s history, beating Dundalk 2-1 to avenge the 2-0 loss to the Hawks in the 2009 regional title game.
“They were very relaxed with it,” Glaudemans said of the regional championship. “They enjoyed that win and they deserved it. It used to be a pretty common thing for us, and it has been a long road back, but we are just going to keep moving forward.
One thing that won’t be able to share in the future of Eastern Tech’s boys’ soccer program is the team’s group of five seniors, but Glaudemans is quite proud of what they have already accomplished.
“Every one of these kids is a great kid,” he said. “They all put their heart out on the line and work six days a week to get better as a team. They sacrifice a lot of things to get as far as they possibly can, and you have to admire kids that put themselves into a situation where they know they will be challenged at a lever they haven’t been challenged at before.”
The 2A South powerhouse Marriotts Ridge, while being a varsity program for only five years, has been on top of the region for the past three, winning back-to-back-to-back regional titles and losing just four games in their last 55 appearances on the pitch.
And that dominant team will defend its 2009 title next weekend, facing the Liberty Lions at UMBC.
“We are going to watch this game and try to figure out where our strengths lie against whoever wins this, and where their weaknesses are,” Flynn said before the Liberty-Wicomico game at Bel Air High School, Friday night. “We want to try and find something we can take advantage of, and then work on the things we can work on.”
|Marriotts Ridge 5, Eastern Tech 0|
MR-Glazer (3), Delaney, Safren.
MR-Moore 2, Binder 1; ET-Wright 10.