Fal­cons de­fense builds a wall, blanks Mus­tangs

Two goals in sec­ond half keep Severna Park per­fect

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Brian Bur­den

Mid­way through the first half of No. 4 Severna Park’s boys soc­cer game at No. 6 Meade, Fal­cons goal­keeper Sam Far­rell came out and stopped Sam Solomon one-on-one, then de­flected away a fol­low at­tempt. Thanks to a stead­fast line in front of him, those two saves rep­re­sented the bulk of the ac­tion Far­rell had Tues­day night.

Far­rell made six saves while Ian Musser, Kevin Ko­bosko and Maxim Mur­phy led Severna Park’s de­fense, and two sec­ond-half goals stood up as the Fal­cons stayed un­de­feated with a 2-0 shutout of the Mus­tangs.

“It feels good to get the out­come tonight,” said Severna Park’s Nate Carey, who had a goal and an as­sist. “The big­gest thing for us com­ing in against them was know­ing that we needed to work hard through the end of the game to get that out­come.”

The Fal­cons (9-0) set the tone early by es­sen­tially get­ting in the pock­ets of Meade’s at­tack­ing line of Solomon, Ri­ley Baker and Si­las Baker. Mur­phy was as­signed the task of mark­ing Solomon, who has 13 goals this sea­son, through­out the game.

“We worked all week on stop­ping Sam Solomon and the big guys who are their big play­ers,” Far­rell said. “We ex­e­cuted, and I made a cou­ple of saves, but it wasn’t my win; we did great as a unit.”

Solomon tested Severna Park early with a low free kick that Far­rell sent away. With 17:35 to play in the first half, Solomon got free in the box with a pass that worked its way to his foot, but Far­rell timed his move per­fectly for the ini­tial stop, and then saved a fol­low-up out wide. Chris­tian Best sent a header off the en­su­ing cor­ner kick wide left. Severna Park’s de­fense kept the play out­side the 18 and on Meade’s side for much of the rest of the half.

“They played a deep line and it worked for them,” Meade (7-1-1) coach Pat Hulede said. “I think it was a lit­tle tough for us to adapt.”

That late mo­men­tum con­tin­ued into the sec­ond half as the Fal­cons con­trolled pos­ses­sion, with play­ers such as Keaton Bathras and Phil Ir­win, along with Carey and Scott Hunt­ley, con­sis­tently press­ing fur­ther into Meade’s de­fen­sive third. Jeremy Martin saved a ball off the goal line with his feet for Meade early in the half, and Mus­tangs goal­keeper Chris Marx (five saves) madet­won­ice stops mid­way through.

“Meade is a re­ally good team and you need to bring your best game against them,” Severna Park coach Ryan Parisi said. “We went back to the ba­sics, keep­ing it sim­ple and con­nect­ing the passes.

Those ba­sics helped lead to the first goal, as the Fal­cons kept press­ing and work­ing the ball around un­til it found the head of Carey, who got it past Marx. Meade’s Ri­ley Baker, right, puts pres­sure on Severna Park’s Kevin Ko­bosko. When Nate Carey scored for the Fal­cons, Meade found it­self trail­ing for the first time this sea­son.

“It feels good. I don’t even know what to tell you,” Carey said.

For the first time all sea­son, Meade found it­self trail­ing.

“I thought we didn’t have our best per­for­mance and Severna Park stuck to its game plan very well,” Hulede said. “I don’t think we an­swered prop­erly when we con­ceded.”

The Mus­tangs be­gan to press higher and higher for an equal­izer, but just could not pen­e­trate that Fal­cons back line. Severna Park coun­tered and got the in­sur­ance it wanted and earned when Hunt­ley headed homea cross from Carey with just un­der five min­utes to go. The loss was the first county de­feat for the Mus­tangs since a 4-2 set­back to Broad­neck on Sept. 29, 2015.

MATTHEW COLE/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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