Good fortune enriches Warriors

October 26, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Boonsboro striker Jake Munson summed it up in four words: "Right place, right time."

The same could be said of the Warriors, who are the MVAL Antietam Conference boys soccer champions after a 1-0 victory over North Hagerstown at School Stadium on Monday night.

The fortunes of the Warriors fell on the good fortune of Munson, who found himself in perfect position in the 47th minute to head Arron Pearson's lofted pass from the left sideline over charging Hubs keeper Brian Williamson and into the net for the game's only score.

"I heard the keeper yelling he was coming for it, so I knew he was out of the net," Munson said. "All I had to do was get something on (the ball) and get it past him."


It was a case of Boonsboro (14-1) trying to make something happen in a game where neither team had many good scoring opportunities on a muddy, slippery mess of a field. Pearson happened upon a free ball along the sideline just past midfield and sent it skyward toward the goal.

"I just kicked it hoping someone would be there," Pearson said of his pass. "I was so happy when I saw it go in."

"It's a 50-50 ball, and Jake did a good job getting to the spot and putting it in," North coach Glen Singer said.

Going into the game, both teams knew the MVAL Antietam title was at stake - a win by either team would clinch the title outright. The Warriors and Hubs (6-5-2) played to a scoreless tie at halftime - thanks to Williamson's sprawling stop of Tyler McKenrick's breakaway shot in the fourth minute - but Boonsboro took control in the second half, outshooting North, 14-5.

"I think we just wanted it more," Pearson said. "We haven't beaten North in a long time, and it's the first time we won a league title."

"We tried to speed it up in the second half," Boonsboro coach Brad Distad said. "It seemed they were pulling everybody back defensively and we were playing into that by taking so long on our set plays.

"In the second half we sped it up and beat the defense back. ... It turned more into kickball at times, and the key was we didn't want to put it down the middle where they could get their sweepers and keeper to it. We wanted to get it to the flags so our kids would have a chance to chase."

North's best chance at tying the game came in the 77th minute, when freshman Ethan Unruh got himself free on the right side and blasted a low line drive toward the right post. But Boonsboro keeper Evan Lowery played it perfectly and was in position to make the stop - one of five he made for his eighth shutout.

The Hubs hurt themselves with three offsides in the second half.

"Their defense did a good job pulling up, and our strikers weren't paying enough attention and they got caught," Singer said.

As for the Warriors, the celebration doesn't figure to last for too long.

"It feels good, but at the same time we have to stay focused," Munson said. "We still have playoffs, and if you take one game for granted you can't win a state title."

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