Boonsboro boots Jaguars

October 30, 1998

Boonsboro vs. NorthwestBy RON SOMERS / Sports Editor

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

BOONSBORO - The Boonsboro Warriors made up for a lot of frustration on Thursday night.

A year after going 11-1 and winning the Monocacy Valley Athletic League title, the Warriors struggled to a 2-6-1 league record and a 3-8-2 mark overall.

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Many of their losses this year were close and featured a lot of hit posts and near-misses. They needed exactly what they got Thursday in the first round of the Region 2A West boys soccer tournament. Their opponent was first-year school Northwest, which has no seniors. The Jaguars came into the game looking for their first-ever win, and rode the bus back to Gaithersburg, Md., still looking for their first win after a 5-0 pounding from the Warriors.

"It's a great pickup for our team,'' said Boonsboro's Robbie Pongratz, who scored two goals. "This is what we need going into our game with Fort Hill.''


Fort Hill awaits on Tuesday in the second round. Actually, Fort Hill wasn't sitting back waiting. Several players and members of the coaching staff attended Thursday's game, taking notes and plotting strategy.

"Fort Hill will be tough because they have an Astroturf field,'' Boonsboro coach Jeff Palm said. "The ball's fast, and we've got to make that transition.''

But the Warriors weren't looking ahead to Fort Hill on Thursday. They were focused on building some momentum at a time when each tournament win eases the pain of their regular season losses.

Pongratz said Boonsboro's record is not indicitave of the team's ability. He said the frustration of missing goals and losing created some negativity, but that's in the past.

Boonsboro was thinking and playing positively from the start, scoring the first goal in the ninth minute.

Aaron Rohrer took a long ball on the right wing, dribbled deep into Northwest's end before centering the ball to Brad Palm. Palm pushed the ball forward to Pongratz, who knocked it in.

Moments later, Palm scored from 12 yards out for a 2-0 lead.

In the final minute of the first half, Palm crossed the ball right in front of the goal to Nick Lingg, stationed off the left post. Lingg one-timed it in, and Boonsboro had a 3-0 lead.

Pongratz scored in the second half, knocking in a rebound from short range.

Matt Martz fired a shot off the hands of Jaguars keeper Mike Logie, who had just entered the game, and Josh Kretzer pounced on the rebound and put it in the net for the final goal.

"It's tough; it's frustrating,'' coach Kert Mease said of Northwest's just-ended 0-13 season.

The Jaguars had nine freshman, six sophomores and four juniors. The team could have played at the JV level, but Mease rejected that option, figuring varsity experience would be better.

"You could tell the improvement,'' he said. "It would have been nice to see a (winning) result. But it's nice to see them develop.''

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