Mav­er­icks start slowly but pre­vail

Fresh­man Nesteruk scores game-win­ner, his 1st var­sity goal, 24 sec­onds into OT

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Glenn Gra­ham glenn.gra­ham@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Glen­nGra­hamSun

The East­ern Tech boys soc­cer team had to work ex­tra hard on de­fense and be re­source­ful with lim­ited scor­ing chances in reg­u­la­tion against vis­it­ing Ca­tonsville on Fri­day.

It gave the No. 12 Mav­er­icks a chance in over­time and fresh­man mid­fielder Dillon Nesteruk was ready to be­come the hero.

Just 24 sec­onds into over­time, Nesteruk scored on a one-timer from out­side the penalty area, find­ing the right corner to give the Mav­er­icks a 3-2 up­set win over the de­fend­ing Bal­ti­more County cham­pion and No. 8 Comets.

East­ern Tech im­proved to 8-2 and 3-0 in the county’s East/South Di­vi­sion. Ca­tonsville (8-2-1) is 4-1 in di­vi­sion play.

A Ca­tonsville de­fender headed the ball out of the mid­dle, but not far enough, as Nesteruk fin­ished with a half-vol­ley with the out­side of his foot for his first var­sity goal.

“Ac­tu­ally, I just hit it, to be hon­est, and I had no idea if it was go­ing in. I didn’t try to put too much power into it, just leaned over the ball and hit it and thank God it went in,” he said.

“That was my first goal of the sea­son. There’s no words to de­scribe it, to be hon­est — it’s a spe­cial feel­ing.”

The Comets dom­i­nated play for most of the first half but were un­able to score. East­ern Tech goalie An­drew Holt (nine saves) had a lot to do with it, and he got help from his de­fend­ers and the cross­bar when Mcken­zie Ali hit it with a header off a corner kick late in the half.

The Comets came out strong in the open­ing minute of the sec­ond half as Holt turned away Ethan Clark’s point-blank shot from 6 yards away. The Mav­er­icks made their first trip to the other end count when An­drew Wdzieczkowski con­verted a penalty kick af­ter a team­mate was taken down a cou­ple of min­utes later.

It was the first goal the Comets al­lowed af­ter nine straight shutouts (8-0-1 in the span), and coach Chris Hastings said they might have been a bit shaken when the Mav­er­icks made it 2-0 with 30 min­utes to play on a goal from ju­nior Kai Kress­man, who used his left foot to re­di­rect a free kick sent in from Holt near mid­field.

The Comets went back to work on of­fense with even more ur­gency and were able to fi­nally solve the Mav­er­icks de­fense with goals from Michael English and Jor­dan Llorin a cou­ple of min­utes apart mid­way through the half to even the score. Chances came for both sides dur­ing the re­main­ing time of reg­u­la­tion but didn’t lead to a goal, leav­ing Nesteruk to set­tle things in over­time.

“We­have some­thing spe­cial this year,” he said. “We’re like a fam­ily. We bond ev­ery sin­gle game and ev­ery sin­gle prac­tice and that helped to­day on the field.”

Play­ing on a nat­u­ral grass field for the first time this sea­son, the Comets con­trolled play and had an ad­van­tage over the Mav­er­icks in shots, corner kicks and pos­ses­sion time, but couldn’t fin­ish.

“That’s just soc­cer,” Hastings said. “They’re good kids who want to do well and want to win, and they’re not go­ing to put their heads down for sure.”

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