La Plata boys soc­cer edges Hunt­ing­town on own goal for 8th straight win

Shuts out Hunt­ing­town for eighth straight vic­tory

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.”

PHOTO BY DAR­NELL MARBURY

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.

PHOTO BY DAR­NELL MARBURY

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.

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