No. 4 Perry Hall showed how history can repeat itself in its 3-1 victory over host and No. 12 Dulaney in a Baltimore County
3A-4A League game yesterday.
The Gators scored all of their goals in the first half to top Dulaney, 4-1, last year. First-place Perry Hall (10-0, 9-0) pulled a similar trick in this year's game with a three-goal first half.
"We came out gunning for them," said Scott Kennell of Perry Hall. "It was just like last year."
Kennell helped to repeat history. Kennell, one of the area's top scorers, scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season to give the Gators a 2-0 lead 25 minutes into the game. Chris Ude added another goal in the 37th minute for a 3-0 halftime lead.
Kennell got Perry Hall off to a fast start by scoring in the fifth minute. He put a shot between the legs of Dulaney goalie Alex Collier from about 15 yards out after gaining control of a loose ball.
"That got our adrenalin going," said Kennell.
That quick goal also seemed to take some of the fire out of Dulaney (7-2, 7-2), which lost to Dundalk on Saturday. Kennell then put the Lions in a deeper hole in the 25th minute.
Jeff Patterson crossed a ball from the right to Kennell, whose shot was stopped by Collier. Kennell put the rebound in for a 2-0 lead.
"[That] broke their backs," said Perry Hall coach Ed Wolf.
Ude added the third goal 12 minutes later. Steve Yeager lifted the ball over the wall defending against an indirect kick, and Ude put it in from the left side.
Ude, a defender, missed most of the second half after apparently pulling a tendon in his foot. Wolf said his status was unknown.
Perry Hall spent much of the first half in the Dulaney end. The Gators outshot the Lions, 9-6, and applied constant pressure.
Dulaney rebounded to play much better in the second half. The Lions, who seemed flat through much of the first half, scored when Eddie Liu put in a Booth Farwell pass in the 59th minute, but could do no more.
The Lions often put pressure on in the second half, but could not create many good chances. And, when the Lions did find opportunities, they did not convert.
"[Perry Hall] finished better than we did," said Dulaney coach Craig Laferty. "That's what it takes to win games like this."
Perry Hall got a strong performance from goalie Jeremy Meyer. Although finishing with only seven saves, Meyer's forays out of the goal often broke up Dulaney chances -- especially in the second half.
Meyer, in fact, made only three saves in the second half. Still, the goalkeeper played a large role in keeping Dulaney quiet.
"I think [Dulaney] played a lot more aggressively in the second half," said Meyer. "Late in the game, when it's close, I think I'm better."
Laferty said the whole Perry Hall team played better. As he put it, the Lions "got out-athleted" near the goal. The coach took pride, though, in his team's second-half effort.
"I give my guys credit," said Laferty. "They didn't pack it in."