La Plata boys soc­cer claims sec­ond-straight 2A South Re­gion ti­tle

La Plata boys dom­i­nate South­ern for sec­ond-straight crown

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

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.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

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.

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