Earlier in the week, Reservoir boys soccer coach Paul Linkins made his team two promises.
First, he told them that if they had defeated River Hill in the Class 3A East Regional championship game this past Tuesday, then he would adopt the team haircut.
Before the post-season began, the Gators players donned Mohawks that were bleached blonde.
After a 3-2 victory in penalty kicks over the Hawks, Linkins sported a colorless Mohawk for the Class 3A State semifinals game against Linganore on Saturday night at CCBC-Essex.
His second promise was that if his team beat the Lancers, he would finish the hairstyle by bleaching it blonde.
Somebody breakout the bleach after Reservoir dominated Linganore, 3-0, in a physical battle to advance to the state title game at UMBC next week.
“They had the [Mohawk] going into playoffs, kind of like a team thing,” said Linkins. “I told them if they beat River Hill, then they could shave my head…I told them if we won tonight, I would go blonde, so I’m going to look foolish in school for the next week.”
“We decided one day that for playoffs [the hair] would be another way to build the family up,” said senior defender Ryan Konstanzer. “We finally got coach involved; he’s like a dad to us…we call it our swag. We lost it midway through the season but I think we got it back.”
Senior Colin Bonner scored two goals and classmate Jake Coccio added another for the Gators (14-3-1). Konstanzer had two assists and Coccio had one. Goalie Michael Lombard made four second half saves to preserve the shutout.
“I had an opportunity to go and see [Linganore] play Watkins Mill on Monday and the team knew what they were in for. They knew that they were big and physical, fast and they like to counter a lot. So we prepared for that.”
Entering the contest, the Lancers hadn’t allowed a goal in three consecutive games. That fact didn’t seem to bother Reservoir, which scored just 10 minutes into the game.
Konstanzer threw-in a deep ball that Bonner headed-in for the score, putting the Gators ahead, 1-0.
“They were really dominating for that first 10 minutes and [the goal] really broke it loose for us,” said Bonner. “The fans went crazy and I really thought that they helped us with the win.”
Three minutes into the start of the second half, Reservoir struck again quickly. This time, Konstanzer threw-in a ball that Coccio corralled, spun to his right and fired past Linganore goalie Logan Pomeroy.
Bonner added another goal, six minutes later, scoring off of a free-kick that was sent in by Coccio.
The Gator defense, led by Konstanzer, Cameron Britton, Paul Park and Nick Barnett, stood tall against a talented Lancer team.
Reservoir will square off with Northern of Calvert County, which edged No. 16 Hereford, 1-0, in the other Class 3A state semifinal match next week.
Click related videos tab at top of article for post game interviews.
|No. 9 Reservoir 3, Linganore 0|
Reservoir-Bonner 2; Coccio.
Reservoir-Konstanzer 2, Coccio.
Reservoir-Lombard 4; Linganore-Pomeroy 2.