In many recent years the boys soccer matchup of Bel Air and Fallston has come near the end of the regular season.
Monday, however, the two Harford County juggernauts met in the UCBAC Chesapeake Division opener for the host Bobcats, while the Cougars were seeing their second division action.
Bel Air (1-0, 5-1), on the strength of two second half goals, edged Fallston (1-1, 4-3) by a score of 2-1.
“We knew leading off with Fallston in the beginning of the season is hard and that was our goal,” Bobcats coach Dom Rose said. “If we lose this game, basically, they have the edge through the whole playoff scene.”
A loss is what it could have been if the game was played in just one half. But the Bobcats changed that with a pair of second half goals, scored 18 minutes apart.
Ethan Lassen, a junior forward, pulled the Bobcats even with the Cougars with 29:52 to play in the game. Lassen got into a foot race with a Fallston defender about 35 yards out.
Lassen beat the defender as they neared the goalie box. Fallston keeper Mason Mullaney came off his line and tried to make a sliding save, but Lassen slipped the ball past him and then finished with a ground ball shot into the empty goal.
The game stayed tied at 1-1 until the 11:29 mark. Senior forward and captain Arthur Jackson put the Bobcats ahead with his first career goal.
Emre Sipos, a sophomore midfielder, played a through ball that Jackson was able to run onto. “I’m glad I got that goal, Emre Sipos gave me a through ball and I happened to run right onto it and I got the touch in,” Jackson said. “It was a good win, a hard-fought win.”
Fallston’s lone goal came just past the midway point of the first half. Senior forward Jake Kauffman banged in a loose ball, out of the reach of Bel Air goalie Jake Fiacco.
The Cougars nearly went up 2-0 early in the second half, but Ben Muzzelo saw his shot tipped up by Fiacco and off the cross bar before getting cleared away.
The Cougars had two more chances, a hard low shot from Cory Reed and a high hard shot from Kauffman that bounced off the cross bar and up into the football field goal cross bar.
Fiacco finished with five saves for Bel Air and Mullaney had four saves for Fallston.
“I think they’re in better shape than we are, my guys need to work harder at practice is what it comes down to,” Cougars coach Drew Bisker said. “We’ll get there, we have plenty of games to play and then we’ll go into the playoffs, hopefully better than what we did today.”
Huskies edge Eagles
Patterson Mill (2-0, 7-1) won its second Chesapeake game, nipping visiting Aberdeen (0-2, 5-3), 3-2, Monday.
The Huskies were led by Cameron Neumann’s two goals, while Joe Cicenia added a goal and an assist.
Matt Funk and Reggie King added an assist each and Huskies goalie Scott Meyler made six saves.
Tigers beat Warriors
Havre de Grace (1-1, 1-5) lost its Susquehanna Division battle with visiting Rising Sun (2-0, 3-3), 4-1, Monday.
Morgan Sherman, with an assist from Devon Martin scored the lone Havre de Grace goal, which at the time, tied the game 1-1 in the first half.
Rising Sun, though, scored twice more in the first half and once more in the second half to win.
Warriors goalie Aaron Toepfer made eight saves.
North Harford (1-1, 3-5) earned its first Chesapeake win Monday, beating visiting Elkton (0-2, 2-4), 1-0. Stats were not provided.
Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports