Even in victory, there was a frustration factor for Perry Hall in the first half of its 2-0 triumph over Towson High (5-2) on Friday afternoon in a key Baltimore County boys soccer match.
The Gators (5-2-1) were by far the superior side, yet had difficulty breaking through until the 35th minute when junior Brian Ngyun finished a pretty though-ball from senior midfielder Luke Still for a 1-0 advantage.
Perry Hall wasted only four minutes into the second period to double the lead.
Senior forward Justin Spencer (goal) and junior midfielder Brendan Henry Lambert (assist) made sure of that, combining to beat Christian Sorteberg moments after the Towson senior keeper made a miraculous one-handed diving save of a Gator drive destined for the back of the net.
"They dominated the whole game," said Towson coach Jon Becker, who was filling in for ailing head coach Randy Dase. "We knew what they were capable of, and they gave it to us."
After Towson senior midfielder Jack Thorne created a good chance early in the match, Perry Hall caused a series of dangerous situations that threatened to break the scoreless duel.
Spencer, Still, sophomore forward Jack Muller and junior forwards Colin Weyant and Connor Gwin applied plenty of pressure before the Gators finally spurted ahead.
Weyant's best chance came on an unusual indirect kick from about 9 yards that he tried to blast through a wall of Generals lined up next to Sorteberg on the goal line, and came shortly after the goalie sprawled to deny another shot headed just inside the near post.
"It was frustrating," Weyant admitted. "But we knew if we kept playing the way we should, more chances would come."
Perry Hall goalie Ayden Crew was barely tested by the Generals, who were thwarted by Perry Hall backs Still and juniors Matt Goodall, Evan Eibner and Kyle Gosnell before they could unleash decent shots toward the sophomore.
Towson's best opportunity in the second half came from junior midfielder Noah Schweitzer, but Crew easily gobbled up his offering with eight minutes remaining to keep the shutout intact. Senior midfielder Clark Benassi and junior running mate Jack Ware also fought hard to create more chances for the Generals.
Perry Hall coach Pete Eibner said he is always wary of playing Towson on its football field that was a bit muddy after Thurdsay's rain.
"Playing on this field is always tough," he said. "Towson always has great athletes, so we wanted to defend, be safe and move quickly forward. We wanted our backs to play it safe and get it to our speed guys, Spencer and (Denis) Mabonga."
Spencer echoed his coach's sentiment.