The Fallston boys soccer team experienced problems converting on scoring opportunities Monday night at C. Milton Wright. The Mustangs did not find as many chances but fared better when they got them.
That's why No. 12 C. Milton Wright denied No. 9 Fallston a chance to clinch the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division title. Jay Butler scored in the second minute, and Sean Fleming added another later in the half as the Mustangs posted a 2-0 victory.
C. Milton Wright (8-4-1, 5-1) pulled into a tie with Fallston (11-2, 5-1) for first place in the division in their final UCBAC game. Bel Air has two games remaining, and if the Bobcats win out, there would be a three-way tie for first place, with tie-breakers needed to determine the winner.
In this game, the Mustangs set the tone with the early Butler goal. Fallston kept trying to pressure and often pushed the ball deep into the C. Milton Wright end but could not convert.
"They had a good number of a opportunities to put the ball in the box," C Milton Wright coach Brian Tully said. "We're comfortable playing that way. Guys were very disciplined and played within themselves."
Starting goalie Ryan Miller made six saves before senior Dylan Cushner came on for the final 10 minutes and added another key one on a tough Fallston header from right in front.
Miller aggressively came out of the goal and broke up plays several times. He stopped a bunch of crosses, and that hurt Fallston. Cushner also played well in his stint.
But in the end, it was that first quick goal that set the tone and gave the Mustangs a lead they never lost. It also helped them snap a two-game losing streak.
Butler gave C. Milton Wright a 1-0 lead when he scored from just inside of 10 yards. The ball was headed around a bit as Fallston tried to clear but it came to Butler, and he volleyed it in just 1 minute, 23 seconds into the game.
"I didn't know where it was going," Butler said with a smile. "It raised our intensity. This is the best game we've played."
C. Milton Wright was content to play defense and counterattack at times after going in front early. Its best scoring chance came later in the half when Ian Fink got control of the ball and fed it to Fleming, who put a low shot from about 15 yards out inside the right post for a 2-0 lead with 15:03 remaining.
The Cougars kept trying in the second half, coming up with some good scoring chances. Jake Kauffman had a shot that hit the inside of the left post and bounced on the line before a defender cleared the ball with about 29 minutes left.
Ben Muzzelo of Fallston then headed a shot from in front that Cushner made a diving save on with just over six minutes remaining. The Cougars never converted, and their 10-game winning streak ended.
"It just wasn't our night tonight," Fallston coach Drew Bisker said. "It's difficult to win every night in this league."