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.''