Pointer boys de­feat de­fend­ing state champs

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @DEa­gle_s­ports

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.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

Ben Hester scored the win­ning goal on a head ball off a cor­ner kick against Pikesville.

PHO­TOS BY BILL GATES

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.

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