Senior goalkeeper scores a PK and saves one to lift the Mavericks over Towson in Baltimore County title game

by Gary Adornato

With the size of an offensive tackle and the right leg of an NFL kicker, Eastern Tech senior goalkeeper Andrew Holt looks a little out of place on the soccer pitch. In Tuesday night’s Baltimore County boys’ soccer championship game at Sparrows Point, Holt was in exactly the right place for the 8th-ranked Mavericks, as they outlasted No. 16 Towson on penalty kicks (6-5) to win the County title.

After 100 minutes of scoreless soccer, the team’s squared off in a shootout. Holt got the action going for Tech, converting the first attempt and then he saved Towson’s sixth shot, diving to his left to poke away a strike by the Generals’ Diego Menegatti to secure the victory.

“I was talking to some of the ballboys and I said this kid is going to go to my left and its gonna be mine,” said Holt. “I stuck true to it and I went left. It ended up being on my side, God bless.”

In succession, after Holt scored the first PK, Kai Kressman, Kyle Dengler, Dillon Nesteruk, Anthony Akinrinmola and Aaron Ogbennah scored for the Mavericks, with Ogbennah’s tally proving to be the game-winner.

Towson’s PK’s were netted by Nick Sickler, Nico de Jesus, Thomas Lewis, Kushal Giri and Bryce Vanik.

Eastern Tech (13-1), which went undefeated against Baltimore County competition this fall, dominated the first 20 minutes of action and appeared to be on the verge of several scores, with the most promising chance coming at the 26:10 mark, when Kressman fielded a long direct kick from Mark Mudimba and pushed a shot between a defender and Towson freshman keeper Caeden Fong. But, before the ball could cross the line, senior James Thorne was able to boot it away to prevent the score.

Eventually Towson (10-3) settled in and slowly built momentum, especially in the second half and throughout both overtimes, but both defenses remained up for the challenge, and the fitness of both sides was challenged as the ball was repeatedly played from one end of the field to the other.

“We tried to execute our game plan,” said Eastern Tech coach Peter Glaudemans. “We felt it was working quite well over the course of the first 20 minutes or so. We created several dangerous chances, but most of the crosses ended up a little high and off the back end. Towson regrouped and reformed and was able to battle us quite well. The second half was much the same way.”

Glaudemans praised the efforts of both teams.

“Most of the attention needs to be given to the boys,” he said. “They should be extremely proud of what they accomplished. They are great kids they are good soccer players. They listen to us, they trust their teammates and they have all the pieces to be a very successful team.

“Towson is a very talented team, a very athletic team. We are happy to have had the opportunity to have played them because they hopefully just made us better for the regional playoffs.”

Veteran Towson coach Randy Dase expressed similar thoughts.

“It was an outstanding game. Eastern Tech is a very well coach and outstanding group of athletes,” said Dase. “The goalkeeper is phenomenal. Our kids tonight, we walk away with a loss, but I feel so good about our kids. I feel we played very tough soccer. We gave everything we have tonight and to shut them out, for 100 minutes, that’s pretty good.”

Both teams now move on to the state playoffs and each have first round byes. Eastern Tech, which is in the 2A North Region, will host Forest Park on Oct. 31. The same day Towsn will host the winner of the Franklin/Lansdowne game in the 3A North Region.