“It’s one of our best games we’ve played all year in terms of moving the ball and passing the ball. This was a fun game to watch,” he said.
Game 3 was another rout, 8-0 over Fallston. The Force came into the final game needing only a tie to win the title.
But the Parkland (Pa.) Raiders nearly denied the locals even that much.
Parkland scored early in the game, but North Carroll tied it 1-1 before halftime.
With 10 minutes remaining, the Raiders scored out of a scramble in front to the net to go up 2-1. The Force, which had swept three games without giving up a goal at all, were in danger of losing the championship.
But a handball penalty with about four minutes remaining gave the Carrol County squad a free kick which it converted to tie the contest.
That’s how the game ended, and North Carroll had its championship.
“A win is always better than a tie, but I thought the kids played fantastically,” Fritz said.
Looking for the toughest competition available, he’s tested his team against some clubs that are top-ranked in Maryland and even nationally.
And it has measured up.
He noted his team had played well against No. 1-ranked Maryland team, Brausa SC, last summer. The Force lost 1-0.
But he really took satisfaction with a pair of games against Penn Fusion, a nationally-ranked youth soccer team.
"We lost 9-1 to them in August, 2017. We really got our heads handed to us,” Fritz said. “But last August, almost to the day, we played them again and tied 1-1. We could have won. That’s the kind of improvement we look for.”
Fritz says North Carroll is ranked 21st in Maryland, but added his squad has already beaten half of the teams ranked ahead of it.
But while he likes the ranking, he says his primary goal is to prepare his players for high school soccer.
An assistant boys varsity coach at Manchester Valley, Fritz believes that about 95 percent of his youth players will one day join him there. Fritz has hoped they’d form a state champion team ever since they played under-8 soccer for him.