Oakland Mills scored once early and then dominated at midfield in a 3-0 league-opening boys soccer victory at Wilde Lake yesterday.
The fifth-ranked Scorpions (5-1, 1-0) won a game of contrasting styles against a younger and undermanned Wilde Lake (1-2-1, 0-1) squad, ranked 15th.
Oakland Mills repeatedly drove toward the corners and picked up numerous throw-ins and corner kicks in an effort to score.
Wilde Lake tried a short-passing attacking style, but rarely penetrated through an Oakland Mills midfield led by Rob Severn, Brent Mascott and Keith Murphy.
"We don't play long ball so it [ball] has to come through somewhere," Wilde Lake coach Dave Nesbitt said. "I was disappointed in our midfield. It did not serve it to the forwards."
Eight minutes into the game, Murphy sliced a 19-yard direct kick from the left side into the far corner for a 1-0 Scorpions' lead.
The Wildecats, who played with only two seniors among their 14 players in uniform, were missing starting goalie Todd Bradford.
Wilde Lake was also missing star defender Mike Aballo, who is out indefinitely with an injured knee.
Although Wilde Lake created a few early scoring opportunities, after the first Oakland Mills goal their offense was shut down at midfield. Wilde Lake scoring threats Kwesi Ewool-Robotham and Brian Jefferson were totally frustrated.
Nine minutes into the second half, Oakland Mills' junior striker Ted Lawler took a pass from Jay Holmes' and beat two defenders and the goalkeeper on a diagonal cut from the left side. His kick rolled into an open net inside the right post. "You have to gamble to win," Lawler said. "They gambled and missed a couple of times today."
The Scorpions' leading goal-scorer with four goals praised the play of sophomore sweeper Jeff Curtis.
"He's only a sophomore, but he played smart and didn't let anyone behind him," Lawler said.
Lawler made it 3-0 about 27 minutes into the second half. He gathered a long kick from his goalkeeper, Jason Kranefeld, moved through an opening in the middle of the field and sliced through two defenders about 15 yards out.
"I told our strikers [Lawler and Henry Roh] we were too worried about kicking it into the corners and that we had to attack from the field. We did that in the second half by making more diagonal cuts," Oakland Mills coach Don Shea said.
Shea was pleased that he was able to save wear and tear on his team by using 29 different players, since the Scorpions face unbeaten Atholton today.