La Plata boys soccer claims second-straight 2A South Region title
La Plata boys dominate Southern for second-straight crown
Throughout the course of the contest, save perhaps the last 10 minutes of play when the visitors were clearly in desperation mode seeking the equalizer, the La Plata High School boys soccer team dominated Southern High School of Anne Arundel County en route to a 1-0 victory in Monday’s Class 2A South Region championship game.
La Plata (13-4 overall) controlled possessions throughout the first half and finally got on the board midway through when junior Seth Depriest-Kessler fed senior Dylan Ogletree with a crisp pass
and the Warriors forward delivered a shot past Southern junior goalkeeper Corey Ford and into the right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.
“Me and Seth have such great chemistry,” said Ogletree, who plans to attend the U.S. Naval Academy next fall. “He knows when I am going to the middle and he does a great job of get- ting the ball to me. We really controlled possessions from the start. We probably could have had a couple of more goals. But to win a second straight 2A South Region title is great.”
La Plata continued to apply
the pressure throughout the remainder of the first half as Depriest-Kessler, Ogletree, Justin Caron and Robbie Delozier all sent quality shots toward Ford that the Bulldogs keeper either stopped or watched sail wide of the target. Depriest-Kessler was active on the corner kicks, sending several into the box that the Warriors nearly deliv- ered for goals.
“I think right from the start we were focused on working together,” Depriest-Kessler said. “It’s really huge for us to win a second straight region title. I think things will be different if we face Middletown again. They beat us 4-0 last year in the state final, but I think we under- estimated them. We had seen
them on film and they were bet- ter than what we expected.”
Southern’s Shawn Lewis and Hunter Weiss displayed plenty of skill when they got the ball up top, but their offenses were quickly defused by the Warriors defense. Lewis and Weiss did not get much support from their teammates, which en- abled La Plata to flip the field on numerous occasions and the Warriors nearly added to their lead in the second half on shots from Ogletree, Depriest-Kes- sler and Caron.
“All season long we have been preaching to the guys to win the ball in the air,” La Plata head coach Chris Butler said. “I thought we did a much better job of that tonight and all sea-
son. In the past, we let too many balls get past us in the air and that would allow other teams to get good scoring chances. But we did a much, much better job possessing the ball tonight.”
While La Plata clinched its second straight 2A South Region title on Monday, the Warriors departed the school knowing they would have to wait 24 hours to find out which squad they would face in the state semifinals this weekend at River Hill High School in Howard County.
Many of the La Plata players and Butler were expecting an early rematch with Middletown of Frederick County, the reigning 2A state champions. Middletown was scheduled to
face South Carroll of Carroll County in the 2A West final on Tuesday.
“It would be great if we get another chance to play them,” Ogletree said. “They have a really good team. I think we would be ready for this time time. It would be a great way for me to end my high school career with another chance to play in the state title game. That would be a great boost for me going to Navy.”
La Plata had reached the 2A South Region final by downing Thomas Stone, 4-2, on Friday in the Section I final after the Warriors needed a penalty kick shootout to finally overtake Calvert three days earlier.
Players and coaches of the La Plata High School boys soccer team gather in front of the net after the Warriors defeated Southern 1-0 on Monday evening for their second consecutive Class 2A South Region title.