Warriors top Gaels in season opener

September 07, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

BOONSBORO - "These are the best two keepers you're going to see all year," Boonsboro boys soccer coach Brad Distad proclaimed from the sideline as goalies Kevin Brashears of St. Maria Goretti and Evan Lowery of Boonsboro were putting on goal-stopping showcases of reflexes and athleticism Tuesday night.

Boonsboro's Tyler McKenrick and Goretti's Michael Cushwa aren't a bad pair of strikers, either.

McKenrick and Cushwa each scored two goals, before Lionel Moser scored the game winner on a penalty kick in the 64th minute. Moser's kick went off the hands of a diving Brashears and into the left corner of the net, and Boonsboro won its season opener, 3-2.

"We lost eight starters from last year, but we still have plenty of talent. We just have to make it work together," said Distad, last year's Herald-Mail All-Area coach of the year, who guided the Warriors to a 16-2 record and the Maryland 1A West title game in 2004.


"We were worried tonight," he said. "It was their fifth game and our first game."

Boonsboro twice had to fight back from a deficit.

Cushwa scored on an assist from Quinn Miller to give the Gaels (3-2) a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute. His penalty kick in the 54th minute gave Goretti a 2-1 advantage.

McKenrick was the equalizer. His goal in the 19th minute, assisted by Nick Stenerson, made it 1-1, and his second score in the 58th minute, off Mark Connelly's perfectly placed throw-in pass, tied it at 2-2.

"(McKenrick) is a captain this year and a returning starter, and he played until he dropped tonight," Distad said. "When the final whistle blew, he fell over with cramps."

McKenrick just wants to make sure he and the Warriors don't lose that flavor of success they got to taste last year.

"We lost a lot of players, but we're trying to keep the mold together," said McKenrick, who led Boonsboro with 12 goals and 18 assists last season. "We knew Goretti was tough, one of the top teams we'll face this year."

Goretti coach Mike Long couldn't get past the officiating in his critique of the game. He said the officials missed an offside call on Boonsboro's first goal and also took a penalty-kick opportunity away from the Gaels.

"It was two balanced, great teams battling it out, and the officials made the difference," he said. "We worked too hard to have that happen to us. If they were parent volunteers, I'd understand. But they got paid for that. I know I sound like a sore loser, but ..."

JV: Boonsboro, 5-2.

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