Back in August, the Bel Air Bobcats had a short list of goals for their 2010 boys’ soccer season. Two of those goals were crossed off during the regular season, but the ‘Cats crossed off another of the to-do’s, Tuesday, after claiming the 2010 UCBAC title with a win over Patterson Mill, 5-0.
“One of our goals coming in this year was that we wanted to repeat our record of no losses in the division,” Bel Air head coach Dominic Rose explained, who took the Bobcats through the 2009 Chesapeake Division without a loss. “We had ties with Fallston and C. Milton, so they were our first two goals, and we took care of that.”
While the ties last year left Bel Air short of a 2009 title game, the ‘Cats went on a tear in 2010, beating the Mustangs and the Cougars in back-to-back games and going a perfect 6-0 in the division to host Patterson Mill in the UCBAC Finals.
The Huskies and the ‘Cats were no strangers of each other’s talent, battling one another in early September in a Bel Air 3-2 win, and the two teams played with incredible intensity for the conference crown.
Just as in their first meeting, the Bobcats shot out to a quick first half lead, seeing junior Danny Morgan net a header from senior teammate Drew Rowlands and sophomore Carson Kalama clean-up a one-on-one from a deflected senior Matt Billé through-ball to take a quick 2-0 lead.
And closing the first half with a 3-0 lead, Billé came back to finish his own one-on-one after being fed by senior Tyler Szekalski for a three-point lead after 40 minutes.
“It was before we had our second loss, and we had a few guys on defense playing different positions and we had a different midfield,” Rose said of the first game with Patterson Mill.
“Basically, Szekalski came out of our defense, went to midfield and, ever since then, everything has just been dominated by him.”
The ‘Cats added goals from junior Dominic Rose and senior Herb Hand in the second half, both coming off lower corner kicks to complete the 5-0 championship win.
Rose, chipping a corner from Rowlands, put his ball just past the fingertips of the Husky goalie for the game’s fourth score, and Hand used the bottom of his foot with his back to the net to scrape his shot into the near corner of the net from a orner off senior Tony Proctor.
“We just feel as a team that we play very well,” Coach Rose said. “We connect with each other, they are all on the same page on the field, they are all committed to the same thing and these guys just work hard.
“They are relentless. They just keep coming at you. We feel like we got some momentum going and that we didn’t play well in our last game, but tonight we played well.”
The Huskies have had a terrific 2010 regular season, ending 12-4 and going a perfect 7-0 in the UCBAC’s Susquehanna Division, all of which has led them to a terrific sead in the 1A North Region.
“The season has been great,” Husky head coach Wes Rich said. “The kids have been playing hard and we hadn’t lost a game before now for the last month-and-a-half.
“The expectations are always to win,” he added. “They just came out with a little bit more intensity, a little more fire than we did.”
Patterson Mill will open its 2010 playoff run when it hosts the winner of Manchester Valley and Havre de Grace, while the Bobcats will take on the winner of Elkton and Edgewood, who Bel Air has beaten this year, 5-0 and 4-1, respectively.
“We go one game at a time, so for us our goal is going to win the next game,” Coach Rose explained. “But it looks like we should be heading into another good one with Fallston like we did last year.”
“The goal is the same as it is every year,” Rich said, “to win the region. Every team we face has the same goal, so I guess Monday we will start to try and move forward to that goal.”
(Click on the Related Videos link to see video highlights and interviews)
|Bel Air 5, Patterson Mill 0|
BA-Morgan, Kalama, Billé, Rose, Hand.
BA-Rowlands (2), Bille, Szekalski, Proctor.
BA-Kregecz 4; PM-Morton 7.