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Boonsboro falls in state soccer final

November 15, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

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CATONSVILLE, Md. -- For much of the match, the Boonsboro boys soccer team held the ball.

But in the end, the Warriors didn't get a hold of the state championship trophy.

Time of possession was a meaningless statistic as Pocomoke scored three lightning-fast goals while Boonsboro moved the ball but failed to finish on Friday in a 3-1 loss in the Maryland Class 1A state final at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

It was a tough end for Boonsboro, which won the 1A West title and reached the state final for the first time in school history. For Pocomoke, it was more of the same, as it won the title for the fourth straight year and the sixth time in the last eight years.

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"I thought the kids played well," said Boonsboro coach Brad Delauter. "I'm proud of what they accomplished in winning the region and getting here. We got our goal to strike first, but we couldn't keep it rolling. We had opportunities, but we didn't capitalize."

Boonsboro (15-5) controlled the game from the start and used pressure to force Pocomoke (9-7) to pack its defense around the goal. But Boonsboro couldn't put the ball in the net -- at least not without some help

Boonsboro took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute when Ryan Barrett lofted a corner kick in front of the goal that Pocomoke popped into its own net while trying to clear it for an own goal.

After that, Pocomoke smothered Boonsboro, which got off shots -- especially late -- but couldn't score.

"I was happy with our performance," said Pocomoke coach Alan Byrd. "We had a little letdown in the beginning, but these boys have been through a lot. Being behind one goal wasn't going to stop them. We stayed with the game plan and scored three unanswered goals."

Pocomoke used its top defender, Kevin Nguyen, to shadow Lowery the entire match, limiting his shots and impeding his progress.

"He was by my side the whole game," Lowery said. "Usually I can get a step on them and get behind them, but he was quick. We tried to move the ball around, but was tough to incorporate it all without a striker."

Boonsboro dropped a striker back to mark Pocomoke's top goal scorer, Jordan Becker. Becker got Boonsboro's attention when he tied the match at 1 in the 24th minute when he popped in a short shot next to the right post off a 35-yard free kick from the left sideline by Sam Byrd.

It was a tactic Boonsboro used to mark Michael Reyes and beat Williamsport in the 1A West final.

After that, Sam Byrd became Boonsboro's main problem with his long accurate passes.

Byrd put Pocomoke ahead 2-1 in the 46th minute when he launched a corner kick from the left side to the front of Boonsboro's goal that went untouched and bounced into the goal.

"We were just unlucky," Delauter said. "The goalie just misjudged it. Paul Jordan is only a sophomore and we beat a lot of good teams with him back there. We got it fixed, though. It didn't happen again."

Pocomoke put the final touches on the victory in the 56th minute when Byrd sent a 55-yard direct kick just behind the midfield stripe to the goal mouth, where Becker used a reverse header from point-blank range to score.

Boonsboro scrambled to make up the two-goal deficit with at least five quality shots, but Pocomoke goalkeeper James Douglas and sweeper Jacob Yaeger kept the goalmouth clean.

"Usually when we got the first goal, we'd get fired up and want more," Delauter said. "But not this time. This time we didn't seem to have the urgency to finish off another one. This was the best team I have had a chance to coach. Someone had to lose."

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