A single defensive lapse cost Wilde Lake in its season opener Friday, as Arundel took advantage of a goal midway through the first half to earn a 1-0 victory in the opening game of the Arundel Invitational Tournament.
On a night where the Wildecats’ backline limited quality scoring opportunities, Arundel’s Brian Lenz made good on his team’s best chance by heading home a cross from teammate Kenny Garner for what turned out to be the game’s only goal.
“You have that one second of lack of concentration and someone scores … it’s tough,” said junior Brian Obrochta. “I thought we played a good game, did some good things, just couldn’t come back from that one.”
While its defense was strong overall, Wilde Lake’s offense sputtered out of the gates. The Wildecats mustered only one shot on goal in the opening 40 minutes and spent most of that time without possession of the ball.
Wilde Lake coach Jon Robinson said there were some tactical and personnel adjustments made during halftime.
“We are still in the process of figuring out what works,” Robinson said. “After the first half, we switched some things around … we moved Brian (Obrochta) up out on the wing and that was good for us. We were able to start pushing the ball forward more and possessing it in that upper third.”
Wilde Lake got a few quality chances in the second half as their time of possession improved. The best of the bunch was a point-blank attempt by David Jeun with 12 minutes left in regulation that missed just outside the right post.
Arundel’s best chances to increase its cushion during regulation came on shots in the box by Matt McKenzie — one in the final five minutes of each half — that missed wide. Thanks to goalie Silas Hoxie (3 saves) securing the shutout, though, the team didn’t need any more than that one score.
Wilde Lake goalie Patrick Riley finished with 8 saves in the loss.
The Wildecats will be back in action on Saturday in the consolation game of the tournament.
“We’re excited to learn from our mistakes and get right back out there,” Obrochta said.
Marriotts Ridge 5, Churchill 2
The Mustangs got three goals and an assist from Amir Najib, along with three assists from Jeff Kammerer, en route to the season-opening victory. Marriotts Ridge had itself a 3-0 lead at the half and went up by as many as five goals in the second half before Churchill put two on the board in the final five minutes of the game.
Keyan Shasti and freshman Robert Davis scored the other goals for the Mustangs.
Goals: MR – Najib 3, Davis, Shasti; WC – Mercado, Van der Merwe.
Assists: MR – Kammerer 3, Najib; WC – Van der Merwe.
Saves: MR – Owusu-Boaitey 14; WC – Mengucci 6.
Half: 3-0 MR.