Falcons defense builds a wall, blanks Mustangs
Two goals in second half keep Severna Park perfect
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.