Bull­dogs fall in first round to Queen Anne’s

Times-Record - - SPORTS - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com Fol­low Caro­line/ Dorch­ester Edi­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter @Dustin_S­tarDem.

RIDGELY — The Queen Anne’s County High boys’ soc­cer team came from be­hind Fri­day to ad­vance in the 2A East Sec­tion II play­offs with a 2-1 open­inground vic­tory at North Caro­line.

Evan Shade’s two sec­ond­half goals erased a 1-0 deficit. The Lions (7-5-1) move on to play top seed and Bay­side North champ Kent Is­land on Tues­day.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to North Caro­line on a great season. They are a great team,” said Queen Anne’s head coach Wade Hosler. “In the reg­u­lar season, they beat us 4-3 in over­time. It was a backand-forth game the way tonight was.

“When they got up, I knew we could come back,” he added. “At half­time we talked about some things we knew we could do bet­ter. We came out and did some nice things in the sec­ond half to get the lead.

“I’m just re­ally proud of my guys,” he con­tin­ued. “We came out and played hard. We’ve played hard all year. I’m re­ally happy things went our way tonight.”

North Caro­line (5-7-1) got on the board in the first half when Liam Dow­dall cor­ralled a cross­ing pass and scored for a 1-0 lead. The Bull­dogs had a chance for a 2-0 lead but Queen Anne’s goal­keeper Ryan Hold­greve stopped a Justin Tasker penalty shot.

“Ryan has been great for us,” Hosler said. “The PK stop is huge. You never ex­pect them to save it, you just hope they can. For him to make that save re­ally kept us in the game.”

The Lions got their of­fense go­ing early in the sec­ond half. They sus­tained the pres­sure, and Shade found a clear­ing to score in the 45th minute to tie the game at 1-1.

The mo­men­tum con­tin­ued with QA con­trol­ling the pos­ses­sions. In the 52nd minute, P.J. Gun­ther took a free kick near mid­field and fired a ball into the box. North Caro­line goalie Merrick Wood made a save, but the ball ric­o­chet­ted in Shade’s di­rec­tion. He quickly got off a header and scored to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.

The Bull­dogs coun­tered the score with their own rush, and earned a cor­ner kick in the 55th minute. Brett Blue sent the cor­ner to the mid­dle and Nathaniel Sharp got a shot off but the shot went wide.

Sharp got an­other chance in the 71st minute, this time on a throw-in. His toss found the goal box, but Queen Anne’s de­fend­ers were able to clear the zone.

Two min­utes later, Dow­dall cre­ated an­other chance with a lead pass to the box, but Hold­greve gob­bled up the loose ball be­fore it found a Bull­dog foot.

As the clock ticked down, the ten­sion con­tin­ued to mount. Then ev­ery­one col­lec­tively held their breaths in the 77th minute.

Dow­dall broke free and raced down the mid­dle on a break­away. Hold­greve sprinted from the net and dove for the ball. Dow­dall shook to the left by Hold­greve and guided a shot to­ward the empty net. The ball, how­ever, glided just out­side of the left post with Queen Anne’s 2-1 lead in­tact.

North Caro­line mus­tered one more scor­ing chance with less than two min­utes left. With Sharp do­ing a throw-in near the goal, goalie Wood ran from the other side of the field to join the at­tack.

Sharp’s throw found open space in the box, and Wood had a chance with a shot from 18 yards out. But Wood’s shot sailed high of the net, giv­ing pos­ses­sion back to the Lions.

QA con­trolled the pos­ses­sion for the re­main­ing sec­onds to hold on for the vic­tor y.

“Give credit to Queen Anne’s, they played well,” said North Caro­line head coach John Austin. “We knew go­ing in it was a 50-50 game.

“We played well,” he added. “It was a good soc­cer match. It is just dis­ap­point­ing it had to end for us.”

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Caro­line’s Evan Amador drives the ball up­field against Queen Anne’s Fri­day, Oct. 26.

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