North, South finish in stalemate
Easton standouts factor into all four goals
North 4 — South 4
EASTON — It was appropriate Carlos Hernandez, who provided so many highlights for Easton High’s boys’ soccer team, finished his high school playing career at home Tuesday night.
Also fitting was how the Warrior standout had a hand in half of his team’s scoring.
Hernandez, a four-year star recently named North Bayside Player of the Year for a third straight season, scored one goal and assisted another in the annual Bayside Conference boys’ senior all-star game at Warrior Stadium.
Hernandez’s longtime teammate, Andrew Daly, scored twice, as the North and South battled to a 4-4 tie.
“I’m happy. It was a great time coming out here, getting a goal and an assist, on my home field,” said Hernandez, who totaled 35 goals and 50 assists in four years. “It feels good.”
Playing alongside rivals took a little adjustment, Hernandez said, but not much.
“It was kinda hard at first... but we got used to it,” Hernandez said. “We got going, and we got knockin’; we played good after a few minutes.”
After nearly 20 scoreless minutes of backand-forth play highlighted by a number of one-on-one duels for loose balls, Stephen Decatur’s Andy McCann struck a shot that caromed past North keeper Drew Brewster (North Caroline) for a 1-0 South lead with 20:07 to go until halftime.
Hernandez provided the North’s response 44 seconds later with a blast that tied the game. The Easton star assisted on the next scoring play, his free kick going to Queen Anne’s County’s Austin Thomas, who headed it past South keeper Justin Ball (Parkside, six saves) to give the North a 2-1 advantage in the 22nd minute of play.
Washington’s Mohammed Jalal pulled the South even in the 34th minute for a 2-2 halftime score.
Daly was a one-man show in the second half, scoring the North’s third goal off a rebound with exactly 37 minutes left, and adding another a few minutes later.
But the second one proved to be his final touch, after he suffered a freak injury.
Charging in on the South goal, Daly closed with keeper Noah Shockley (Stephen Decatur, five saves). Shockley reached the ball first, and tried kicking it out of the 18yard box. But the attempted clear went right into left leg of Daly, who dropped to the ground injured, while the ball rolled into the left side of the net to for a 4-2 lead. Daly, who was credited for the score, was escorted off the field by teammates but didn’t return.
Coaching some of the North’s top players was fun for Kent Island head coach Lin Outten.
“We didn’t do much coaching really,” Outten said. “You get them in their natural positions, or mostly in their natural positions, and they took it from there. It just shows you that they’re smart kids; know how to play . ... It was pretty much plug-and-play.”
Peter Gutoskey (James M. Bennett) scored with 24:42 to go in regulation, his free kick threading its way through a North wall and just past Brewster to make it 4-3. With 7:33 to go, Sean Fisher (Parkside) scored the equalizer. It stayed that way despite several chances by each team, including two corner kicks for the North in the final 90 seconds of play.
For Easton head coach Matt Blue, who said goodbye to four of his players, it was a fun way to go out.
“The Easton guys played well tonight; I think Andrew had two goals, and Carlos had one goal and an assist. I was really happy to see them finish out on their home field,” Blue said.
“Coach Outten made a comment that, Andrew’s second goal, it was actually also his last touch in high school,” Blue said. “That’s not something may players can ever say. He’s always been there.”
The North was 13-20-2 during the regular season against the South, and 2-2 in the postseason. Both wins were by Kent Island, first in a Bayside-championship thriller over Stephen Decatur, and then in the 2A East Section I championship over Parkside a week and a half later. Follow me on Twitter:
Nick Nagel of Colonel Richardson High unloads a shot during the second half of the Bayside Conference senior all-star soccer game last Tuesday evening at Easton High School.