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Boys soccer: 'Steve,' Hubs trash TJ

September 10, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown's Wesley Wilson heads a shot on goal against Thomas Johnson on Monday evening.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — His name is Ifeanyi Idegwu.

He goes by Steve.

But he’s known as The Trashman to North Hagerstown boys soccer coach Glen Singer.

Idegwu collected some garbage on Monday as he stood on the doorstep of the goal and popped in a ricochet off Thomas Johnson goalkeeper Quinn Jenkins in the 70th minute to lift the Hubs to a 2-1 victory at Mike Callas Stadium.

It capped a game featuring only concentrated action, as both teams had problems delivering shots for the first 60 minutes.

“We were fortunate to get a couple of good chances and converted them,” said Singer. “TJ is a good team and it was back and forth. That’s (Idegwu’s) M.O. He gets in there and picks up the trash.”

The Hubs (4-1) had the early lead, but found themselves in a 1-1 tie after the Patriots (1-2-2) scored in the 63rd minute.

The shots were few and far between before Singer inserted starters Wes Wilson, Mark Grunberg and Idegwu in the 65th minute.

Shortly after, Ryan Byard unleashed a strong shot from the left sideline 30 yards out. The shot was on target and deflected off of Jenkins.

The ball littered just to the left of the goal mouth, where Idegwu tried to one-time the ball back to the net. He just got a piece of it, but there was enough force behind the attempt to get it to trickle into the net.

“I’ll take it,” Idegwu said. “It wasn’t pretty. ... I tried to kick it as hard as I could, but I was a little out of position. When I kicked it, I started celebrating early and started running to the stands, and then I heard everyone starting to cheer.”

The whole sequence was a matter of instinct — or, let’s say, a nose for trash.

“Ryan has a powerful shot,” Idegwu said. “No goalie is going to catch it. I just anticipated the rebound and it came out.”

The Hubs took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute when Grunberg chased down a loose ball on the goal line and lofted it over to the front of the goal. Wilson fielded the pass at the 10-yard mark and popped it in the top right side.

It came on the Hubs’ third shot of the match, while TJ managed only  one. North finished with 13 shots to the Pats’ seven, with Hubs goalie Max Ober making four saves.

The pace picked up a little in the second half as each team found shots, even though they weren’t the best scoring opportunities.

After small flurries by each team, TJ used one of its rare chances to gain the equalizer, in similar fashion to Idegwu’s later effort.

The Patriots launched a shot from the right that bounced off Ober to the left. Okheem Riley ran into the high bounce and deflected it into the goal with 17 minutes remaining.

And then, the Trash Man cometh. Or, you can call him Steve.

“(Byard) has good vision and can see what we want to do,” Singer said. “He turned and took the shot. The goalie made the initial save, but Steve was there to pick up the loose ball.

“A lot of goals in soccer don’t usually come on the first shot. It’s usually the second one.”

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