La Plata boys soccer blanks Calvert in season opener
Warriors boys soccer blanks Cavaliers
In the minutes after defeating visiting Calvert High School 3-0 on Tuesday evening in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference nondivision contest, La Plata High School head boys soccer coach Chris Butler admitted the team’s possible return trip to the Class 2A state finals was still in the distant future.
La Plata (1-0 overall) got one goal each from Robbie DeLozier, another from Justin Caron and benefited from a fortuitous bounce in the waning seconds of the first half when Seth DePriest-Kessler sent in a deep cross that was headed into the goal by Calvert’s Carson Myles for an own goal.
“I know this team made it to the state finals last year and we have high hopes of getting back there,” said Butler, in the fifth year of his second stint at the helm of the program after coaching for five seasons during his first time through. “We graduated some key players, but these guys remain focused on getting back to Loyola [University in Baltimore, site of the state finals]. That’s still a long way off.”
La Plata was slated to travel to Leonardtown on Thursday in an early season contest that Butler admitted would be a genuine measuring stick for his returning players. The Warriors have already been informed that The Washington Post has already dubbed the Raiders as the 2016 SMAC champions, but Butler was not about to put too much stock into the Week 1 contest.
Calvert third-year head coach Kevin Streete did not enjoy walking off the field having been blanked, but he was not disappointed with the team’s effort or its preparations. One night earlier, Street admitted that he watched Matt Harris and Michael Woollen stay for an hour after practice to work on passing and shooting drills.
“After practice they wanted to stay and keep working,” Streete recalled. “So, I was not about to leave before they did. I even took pictures. I was so impressed with the way they worked and the way they wanted to stay. This team has only one senior starter and two juniors. Most of the team is made up of sophomores, so the future bodes well for these guys.”
La Plata controlled the tempo through the early stages of the game and
got on the board when DeLozier drilled a low shot into the upper left hand corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. The Warriors proceeded to keep Calvert goalkeeper Kevin Pitcher busy through the remainder of the half, but Pitcher was up to the task.
Pitcher made a number of diving and leaping saves to deny shots that appeared destined for the back of the net. On one high shot he deflected the ball with his left hand off the crossbar. But in the waning seconds of the half, Pitcher allowed an unfortunate goal when teammate Myles inadvertently headed a ball past him.
“We just made a few mental mistakes,” Streete said. “Carson got caught on his feet there. It was just an unlucky play. Kevin played really well. He had a few setbacks this summer that kept him from coming into the season at 100 percent. But he played well tonight. La Plata is a very good team.”
In the opening minutes of the second half, La Plata forged a commanding 3-0 lead when DePreist-Kessler made a long cross that Caron headed past Pitcher. Neither team scored over the last 37 minutes of the game, however, something that reminded Butler how far his team still has to travel.
“In the first half, we did a great job controlling the ball and making good passes,” Butler said. “But in the second half we stopped passing across and sent too many passes forward. We got up in a track meet and that’s not the type of team that we want to be.”
Calvert (0-1) is scheduled to host Thomas Stone at 5 p.m. today.
Calvert girls edge La Plata in 2 OTs
In the accompanying meeting between the girls soccer teams from both schools played in Prince Frederick, the Cavaliers forged a 3-2 double-overtime victory over the Warriors on a goal by freshman Kayleigh Venis, assisted by a cross from freshman Claire Williams.
Calvert scored the game’s first goal in the 11th minute with a tally from sophomore Anita Pope with assists going to senior Sydney Watson and junior Camryn Williams.
La Plata answered with goals in the 15th and 18th minutes and led 2-1 at halftime.
Just about midway through the second half, Watson tied the game for the Cavaliers on a through-ball with senior Lauren Miller picking up the assist.
La Plata’s Seth DePriest-Kessler looks for open teammates in the second half of Tuesday’s game against Calvert. DePriest-Kessler had an assist in the second half as the Warriors cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Cavaliers in the SMAC opener for both squads.