La Plata boys soccer edges Huntingtown on own goal for 8th straight win
Shuts out Huntingtown for eighth straight victory
La Plata head boys soccer coach Chris Butler said that when his team sends balls into the danger areas good things seem to happen.
Tuesday night in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference nondivision contest, an own goal with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half proved to be that danger in the Warriors’ eventual 1-0 road victory over Huntingtown, handing the Hurricanes their first loss of the regular season on senior night.
As La Plata sophomore midfielder Seth DePriest-Kessler crossed a shot over in front of the goal from the left side of the field, senior defender Dylan Ogletree made a run on the ball with the Huntingtown defense on him in pursuit of a scoring opportunity.
The defense then had a miscue on trying to clear the ball out of the box and the ball deflected off of Huntingtown’s Tanner Mohn into the back of the net for the only goal of the game.
“Dylan was making a good run and the defender had good position on him, but he had no choice but to clear it and missed and it went into the goal,” Butler said. “This is definitely a big win and we talked about executing, keeping the ball on the ground and we served the ball well into the box and put it into danger.”
Ogletree said, “In practice we work on going up top, dishing it back and then going wide, so we set the play and luckily the goal went in. “[Huntingtown] is ranked in the state and we are not ranked at all. It just shows that we can compete with high level teams.”
It was the eighth straight win for La Plata (9-3 overall), the Potomac Division champions who capped off the regular season on Thursday versus visiting Chopticon. It will take on the winner of Saturday’s Chesapeake Division game, pitting Leonardtown and Huntingtown, in the SMAC championship game next week.
In what was an evenly matched game throughout, La Plata, last year’s Class 2A state finalist, controlled possession
for most of the game, limiting the scoring chances of Huntingtown due to a strong defensive attack.
The Hurricanes (9-1-1) had several chances in the second half, including a long shot from Austin Minnigh, but La Plata senior goalkeeper Bentley LeBarron (6 saves) jumped up and punched the shot attempt over the high arcing shot attempt over the crossbar with his fist with 11 minutes left in the game.
“If that shot had went in, we were definitely going to be struggling and in for a battle,” said LeBarron, “but keeping that ball out helped seal the win and kept us motivated.”
The Warriors came close to scoring early in the second half on different possessions, but failed to convert as Huntingtown sophomore goalkeeper Carter Kuntz (7 saves) was able to make several key stops to keep the Hurricanes within striking distance.
“La Plata outplayed us. We were flat and didn’t control the ball, the possession was low and everything was direct,” said Huntingtown head coach Charlie Russell, whose team reached the 3A state semifinals a year ago. “They limited our chances and we couldn’t capitalize and got the goal on the other side.”
Huntingtown’s Brian Smith one of three seniors honored before the game.
“We started out lacking on defense and just had a mental breakdown on that goal,” Smith said. “We started to connect in the second half, we just couldn’t convert. As a cohesive unit we just weren’t able to operate well enough. But this [loss] gives us a idea of what we need to work on.”
La Plata’s Dylan Ogletree dribbles up field as he is defended by Huntingtown’s Joseph Rothbaum and Brian Smith in Tuesday night’s SMAC nondivision boys soccer contest. La Plata won 1-0.
La Plata’s Robbie Delozier tries to get around Huntingtown’s Nick Krisko in Tuesday night’s 1-0 win in a SMAC nondivision boys soccer contest.