St. Charles boys soc­cer loses over­time thriller

Allen scores game-win­ner for Chop­ti­con Braves

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By JOHN NISWANDER jniswan­der@somd­news.com

Un­der the lights at St. Charles High School, a thrilling South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence boys soc­cer game be­tween the Spar­tans and the vis­it­ing Chop­ti­con Braves cap­ti­vated and en­thralled fans in at­ten­dance from both schools.

St. Charles fans were eager to see its team se­cure its first win of the sea­son and cheered loudly from the be­gin­ning un­til the bit­ter end when Chop­ti­con’s Blaine Allen net­ted the game-win­ning goal to se­cure a 3-2 win for the Braves.

“I am very proud of my boys for not com­pletely los­ing com­po­sure, stay­ing on the field, play­ing hard and end­ing up fin­ish­ing the game with a win,” Chop­ti­con head coach Ray Dixon said.

The first half was not dom­i­nated by any one team in par­tic­u­lar for a lengthy pe­riod of time. Both teams gen­er­ated nu­mer­ous chances and cor­ner kicks that pres­sured both goal­keep­ers to make some saves to keep the game score­less.

Af­ter fe­ro­cious at­tack­ing play from the Spar­tans, the home faith­ful roared loudly when Spencer Hooker found the back of the net on a loose ball that may have sailed wide has his foot not redi­rected the kick into the back of the net for the early 1-0 ad­van­tage.

“I per­son­ally feel like my team came out re­ally flat. St. Charles was able to get up on top early, and that seemed to

have woke my team up. They kept bring­ing the pres­sure,” Dixon said. “I feel like we dom­i­nated some of the game, they dom­i­nated some of the game and they just kept bring­ing the pres­sure.”

Chop­ti­con (4-3-1 over­all af­ter a 7-0 win over Thomas Stone on Mon­day night) re­sponded af­ter its flat start and early deficit with an at­tack that gen­er­ated a penalty kick op­por­tu­nity af­ter a St. Charles de­fender was given a yel­low card in the box.

With roughly four min­utes

to play in the first half, Xan­der Golds­bor­ough scored on the penalty kick into the bot­tom left cor­ner of the goal to even up the score head­ing into the half.

Jakob Gar­land was the Braves goal­keeper in the first half, but helped out his team in a dif­fer­ent way in the sec­ond half.

With Nick Pot­ter start­ing as Chop­ti­con’s goalie for the sec­ond half, Gar­land was able to join his team in the at­tack on of­fense.

Gar­land’s pres­ence was felt roughly 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half when he rock­eted a shot past St. Charles goal­keeper Ru­pert Stephens to break the tie and give the Braves a 2-1 lead.

“It was a good ball in the box, and a poor play by their de­fense. I just jumped on my op­por­tu­nity to score,” Gar­land said.

The Spar­tans (0-7) did not go away qui­etly though de­spite their deficit on the score­board and win­less record.

With ap­prox­i­mately 15 min­utes re­main­ing, the Spar­tans tied the score at 2 when Ma­teo Vasquez found the back of the net.

Over­time was needed to de­cide the back-and-forth af­fair as the teams were even af­ter reg­u­la­tion.

Chop­ti­con was able to sus­tain most of the at­tack­ing play once over­time be­gan and were re­warded when Allen scored the

game-win­ning goal about five min­utes into the ex­tra pe­riod.

“It was a solid game on both sides, we both fought hard,” Pot­ter said af­ter fin­ish­ing the game with five saves.

Dixon was proud of his team and the fact they were able to over­come their slow start and se­cure the vic­tor y.

“I am very happy with them for get­ting the win. I am dis­ap­pointed in the start, but I was happy with the win,” Dixon said.

Chop­ti­con was sched­uled to play host to North­ern on Tues­day and slated to be back in ac­tion at 6 p.m. Thurs­day at home against Leonard­town.

De­spite the loss, Spar­tans

head coach Matt Chisholm is pleased his team is im­prov­ing.

“We still don’t want to lose, but we saw im­prove­ment and are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. The goal by the end of the sea­son is to be play­ing your best soc­cer,” Chisholm said.

Ju­nior Khairy Jones echoed the feel­ings of Chisholm that the team has im­proved.

“So far the sea­son hasn’t been too great, but I can tell we are im­prov­ing a whole lot. The end of the sea­son we will be much more suc­cess­ful than the be­gin­ning,” Jones said.

St. Charles is sched­uled to be back in ac­tion at 6 p.m. Fri­day at Thomas Stone.

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN NISWANDER

St. Charles hud­dles up be­fore the sec­ond half be­gins against the Chop­ti­con Braves. The Spar­tans would fall 3-2 in over­time.

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