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Lions win first title

October 07, 2000

Lions win first title



By DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Writer


IJAMSVILLE, Md. - For Kevin Conley, the former Urbana boys JV soccer coach who took over Walkersville's varsity program this fall, Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Hawks in the Frederick County Tournament title game wasn't just about Conley beating his mentor, Urbana coach Kevin McMullen.

It was about the Lions' continued growth.

"It's a huge win for our program," Conley said as Walkersville celebrated. "It's the first time we've made it to the county championship, and to win it is huge."

It was how the Lions won it - capitalizing on opportunities against Urbana's defensive style and bending, yet never breaking against the Hawks' own attack - that was most rewarding to Conley.

"All the players played on this team today, and that's important," Conley said.

The game's key play came in the eighth minute, when Walkersville's Noah Matesa made a run down the left sideline. His shot deflected off Urbana goalkeeper Dan Mulcahy's forehead, and Darin Stull put home the rebound for a 1-0 Lions lead. Mulcahy would leave the game two minutes later, a huge loss for the Hawks.

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"Dan, he's the best keeper in the county and possibly the state," Conley said.

Urbana missed on its two best chances in the first half. Matt Reen lobbed a shot off the crossbar in the 19th minute, then Walkersville keeper Andrew Lebo made a leaping one-handed save on Josh Andrews' shot in the 22nd minute, pushing it over the crossbar.

Walkersville (4-5) took a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute when Brad Palmer took a pass from midfield and broke in all alone. Palmer beat Urbana's backup keeper, Kevin Consorti.

The Lions iced the game on their only corner kick of the contest in the 59th minute, as Farris Shuggi outleaped everyone and headed the ball into the top left corner.

"The third goal, Farris' goal, was the most beautiful," Conley said.

From there, Walkersville's defense held time after time in their own end, only allowing Pat Gordon's goal - when a corner kick hit the left post and a Lions defender - in the final minute of play. It was the only one of nine corner kicks Urbana scored on.

"We threw a new look (a 3-4-3 formation) against them," Conley said. "It worked well for us."

Then again, everything worked well for Walkersville in the county tournament.

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