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Williamsport boys stung again

November 18, 2000

Williamsport boys stung again



By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent


CATONSVILLE, Md. - There are 25 players on the Williamsport boys soccer team - not to mention a few coaches - who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the third time is not necessarily the charm.

For the third straight year, Oakland Mills thwarted the frustrated Wildcats' hopes of a state championship, and for the second straight year, did so with a 2-0 score in the Maryland Class 1A final Saturday at the University of Maryland-Baltimore Campus.

It was the 10th straight time the Scorpions (12-4-2) have held their opposition scoreless in postseason competition. The last team to score on Oakland Mills in the playoffs was Williamsport in the 1998 state title game.

"We worked so hard to get to this point," said Williamsport forward Jason Knicley. "We play them every year, and every year the result is the same. We dominated the game, yet they still scored and won the game."

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The Scorpions packed 11 players inside the box on defense, making it difficult for Williamsport (17-3) to generate a coordinated attack, and had the speed to get its offense rolling once it established control of the ball.

"I've been saying all year that speed and defense are the strengths of this team," said Oakland Mills coach Don Shea.

It was speed that allowed the Scorpions to score it first goal, as Kyle Farmer - a sprinter on the Scorpions track team - took the ball on the left wing and blew past a Williamsport defender before placing the ball into the far corner of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute.

"(The Scorpions) are faster than we are, and they're more athletic than we are," said Williamsport coach Stan Stouffer. "We have good soccer players, they have good athletes. There's a difference."

Despite the swarming defense, the Wildcats managed eight shots on goal for the game (three more than Oakland Mills), but just four made it to the goalie. Still, Stouffer wasn't as impressed with the Scorpions defense as he has been in other games.

"I don't know if they were as tough defensively as they have been other years," said Stouffer. "I thought we played good defense. It was just their luck, that's all."

The Wildcats had several chances to score, but simply weren't able to put the ball into the goal.

"We had a number of opportunities," said Stouffer. "We just didn't do it. Most games we play like that, we'll win. But for some reason it just doesn't happen against Oakland Mills."

"It's so hard when they have everybody in there to get any kind of an attack going," Knicely said.

The Scorpions tacked on its second goal in the 73rd minute when Trevor Shea found a gap among a crowd of defenders, and managed to slip the ball past freshman goalkeeper Jeremy Draper.

"We forced them to play our type of game," said Stouffer, "but they showed they can play our game."

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