St. Mary’s Ryken squan­ders early lead, set­tles for tie

Boys soc­cer team al­lows McNa­mara to rally de­spite be­ing short­handed

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Twit­ter: tblack­somds1 By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Af­ter tak­ing a two-goal lead thanks to hav­ing an ex­tra player for well over half the con­test, the St. Mary’s Ryken boys soc­cer team could not main­tain that ad­van­tage and set­tled for a 2-2 tie against vis­it­ing Bishop McNa­mara of Prince Ge­orge’s County in a Wash­ing­ton Catholic Ath­letic Con­fer­ence con­test on Tues­day.

SMR (2-1-1, 0-0-1 WCAC) gained a man ad­van­tage when McNa­mara’s William Garner was given a red card on a hard slide tackle on St. Mary’s Ryken’s Alex Du­laney. The Mus­tangs were spared im­me­di­ate dam­age when Knights fresh­man Bran­don Jones sent his penalty kick well over the cross­bar, but the vis­i­tors would have to play the last 65 min­utes a man down. Over­time is not played dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son in the WCAC.

SMR con­trolled play, pre­dictably, with the ex­tra man but it did not cap­i­tal­ize on the sit­u­a­tion un­til Seth Blevins eluded McNa­mara de­fender Ryan Smith and drilled a low shot from along the end­line that bounced through the arms of McNa­mara goal­keeper Micah Dixon. The Knights main­tained the 1-0 lead at the in­ter­mis­sion.

SMR again con­trolled play through the early stages of the sec­ond half and this time it needed less time to take ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion when sopho­more Ben Car­roll drilled a high shot into the up­per right hand cor­ner of the net that eas­ily eluded Dixon for a 2-0 Knights lead with 31 min­utes re­main­ing.

“We had some good passes and good at­tacks in the first half and the start of the sec­ond half,” St. Mary’s Ryken head coach J.J. Ra­ley said. “We just stopped be­ing ag­gres­sive in the sec­ond half. We got a lit­tle com­pla­cent and they were able to come back. Give McNa­mara credit, they kept play­ing hard even be­ing a man down the whole sec­ond half.”

SMR ac­tu­ally had sev­eral more good scor­ing chances in the sub­se­quent five min­utes af­ter Car­roll’s goal, but Dixon recorded a trio of saves and sud­denly McNa­mara found some con­fi­dence. On their sec­ond shot of the sec­ond half, the Mus­tangs got on the board when Jay­den Robin­son sent a high, spin­ning shot that bounced past Knights goal­keeper Trey Wolfe.

Less than two min­utes later, McNa­mara (3-1-1, 0-0-1) got the equal­izer de­spite be­ing a man down. This time se­nior Ross Pat­ter­son picked up a free ball be­hind the Knights de­fense and drilled a low shot past Wolfe into the right cor­ner of the net to bring the vis­i­tors even at 2 with 18 min­utes re­main­ing.

“Those were two great shots by Jay­den and Ross,” McNa­mara head coach Dar­ius Qualls said. “The guys just re­fused to give up. We knew we would only get a few chances be­ing a man down, so we had to be pa­tient. We got some deep balls through and we took ad­van­tage of those op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Over the last 18 min­utes, SMR played as if it had the man ad­van­tage and spent much of the re­main­ing time in the Mus­tangs end. But shots from Blevins, Car­roll, Jones and Du­laney were ei­ther just off tar­get or ended up be­ing smacked away by Dixon, who pre­ferred to swat at in­com­ing shots rather than at­tempt to cra­dle them.

The Knights are next sched­uled to play in the North­ern High School tour­na­ment on Sat­ur­day.

“We had our chances in the last 15 min­utes, but we just couldn’t come through,” said Ra­ley, a 2008 SMR alum who played four sea­sons with the Knights. “It was not the way we thought it would end. It just showed us that we still have a lot of work to do.”

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