Maverick boys open title defense with strong start
A crown may lie heavy upon one’s head, but it’s a burden the Eastern Tech boys soccer team intends to continue bearing, thank you.
The defending Class 2A state champion Mavericks had a strong start to the season and appear to have the skill and depth to defend both their state title and their Baltimore County championship,
“We have a lot of talent,” Easter Tech coach Pete Glaudemans said. “We’ll see where it takes us.”
The Mavericks have a solid core of 17 players returning from last season, including four returning starters: Josh Goetzinger, Isaac Ngobu, Timothy Wa;ter and Ryan Cummings.
Eastern Tech opened the season by winning the Bel Air Tournament, edging defending Class 3A state champion C. Milton Wright 1-0 in the tournament final.
Ben Kropp headed in a corner kick from Marco Barrera in the second half for the winning goal.
The Mavericks defeated Bel Air in the first round, 2-0.
Eastern Tech followed that up with a 5-4 loss to MIAA school Calvert Hall, a strong private school team. Dillon Nesteruk scored all four Maverick goals.
Eastern Tech hosted Dulaney on Friday and the two teams battled to a 1-1 double-overtime draw.
Nesteruk scored for the Mavericks.
That left the Mavericks 2-1-1 after four games against strong teams, all from schools larger than Eastern Tech.
The four returning starters are all four-year varsity players. Kropp is one of the new starters expected to make an impact, along with Matthew Davis, Ahmed Abd-Elazem, Marcos Barrera and Ryan Jankowiak.
And none of them feel uneasy about the two crowns theywear — thee, if you count being the defending Baltimore County Division I champs, also.
“I think they’re fine with it,” Glaudemans said of his players facing the pressure of being defending champs. “We encourage them to relax and enjoy the fun f the game.
“They’re not selfish; they know it’s a team game and they trust their buddies and are willing to share the ball. There are a lot of good things about this team.”
The Mavericks should face a strong challenge in the division from Sparrows Point, the defending Class 1A state champ, Dundalk and Catonsville.
They could potentially face Dulaney again in the county championship game.
River Hill, the Howard County team Eastern Tech defeated in last year’s state championship game 2-0, is ranked second in the Metro area by the Sun (Tech is ranked 10th).
“We’re going to have to work hard every single game,” Glaudemans said.
Eastern Tech’s Dillon Nesteruk, right, scored six goals in the Mavericks’ first four games of the season.
Isaac Ngobu of Eastern Tech chases down a pass during the Mavericks’ 1-1 tie with Dulaney on Friday.