Pointer boys defeat defending state champs
It was two days past Halloween and nearly two months before Christmas, but the Ghosts of Regional Playoff Failures Past seemed determined to continue to haunt the Sparrows Point boys soccer team last week.
The Pointers had dominated the Class 1A North Region Section I final against Pikesville. They had hit the crossbar. They hit the post. They plain missed the goal. They were repeatedly foiled by the Pikesville keeper.
And they trailed 1-0 with less than 15 minutes remaining after Pikesville converted one of the few solid opportunities it had during the game.Add it up, and it looked like any of the regional playoff upset losses that had plagued Sparrows Point since its last regional title in 2008.
Until Nathan Wynne saved the day and, possibly, the season.
Wynee, a sophomore, scored with 12:20 remaining to tie the game. Ben Hester followed up with the winning goal two minutes later.
“I had a touch, figured, there’s the goal, might as well shoot it and see what happens,” Wynne said. “I didn’t see anyone in front of me for a few yards, decided to give it a go.
“The goal was three per- cent skill, 97 percent luck. It was just hit-and-hope.”
Wynne’s score came from the middle of the field and about 20 yards out. Hester scored the game-winner on a header off of a corner kick.
“I saw it coming and my eyes lit up,” Hester said. “I got a good head on it. I knew right away it was going in, saw the keeper go back, and it felt good.”
But the numerous nearmisses, and Pikesville scoring on a breakaway, were taking a toll on the Pointers.
“We dominated the whole 80 minutes, and they got one lucky break,” Hester said. “But I knew once Wynne scored, it would keep snowballing for us.”
Pikesville (3-10-1) was the defending Class 1A state champion.
Sparrows Point (8-7-1) was to play at Reginald Lewis in the regional championship game on Tuesday after
The Eagle went to press in a game that was most likely a formality.
“We were definitely due one,” Sparrows Point coach Joe Lambert said. “It looked like it wouldn’t be our night, but we deserved [this win].
“I didn’t have to say anything. We had dominated for 60 minutes, got caught in a silly mistake. It was one of the only opportunities Pikesville had the entire game. I kind of thought it was going to happen to us again, but it worked out in our favor.”
The Class 1A state semifinal will be either Friday or Saturday at Northeast (Anne Arundel) High School). Sparrows Point will play either Mountain Ridge or Clear Spring.
The state championship game is scheduled for the following week (November 15/17/18) at Loyola University.
Should the Pointers reach the state championship game, likely opponents are either Patterson Mill or St. Michaels.
Sparrows Point has won four state titles, most recently in 2006.
Patapsco (9-5) finished the season with a 4-2 loss at Bel Air in the Class 3A North Region Section II playoffs.
The Patriots had a 2-1 lead in the second half.
“We gave the game away,” Patapsco coach Larry Fulton said. “I can’t question our determination or will, as we tried very hard and the boys played their hearts out.
“I thought this was our year to make it to the next round, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Ricardo Torres scored both goals for Patapsco, with assists from Ronnie Viands and Mike Katsaros.
Ben Hester scored the winning goal on a head ball off a corner kick against Pikesville.
James Bertholdt gets battles the Pikesville goalkeeper on another close scoring opportunity for Sparrows Point.
Givoni Herring watches as the Pikesville keeper scoops up the ball short of the goal line, one of numerous near-misses for the Pointers.
Nick Rasmussen makes a sliding kick against Pikesville.
Nathan Wynne follows the progress of his shot that lifted Sparrows Point into a 1-1 tie with Pikesville.