For those who thought Park's victory over Lutheran last Tuesday was a fluke, the Bruins have a message.
Geoff Reed and Kevin D'Anna scored in the first 2:46 as Park stunned Lutheran with four first-half goals on the way to a 4-2 victory in the Maryland Scholastic Association Armstrong B Conference championship game in the rain yesterday at Essex Community College.
Park won its final five games to finish 8-4-1. This was the Bruins' first MSA soccer title since 1981. Lutheran lost two of its final three -- both to Park -- to finish 9-2-1.
The Bruins did not get many chances on offense, but they converted most of them. Lutheran had several opportunities, but too often came up empty.
"The difference is we finished and they didn't," said Park coach Lucky Mallonee. "And, our goalkeeper [Scott Snyder] played incredibly well."
Snyder (16 saves) played much like he did in the Bruins' 3-1 victory six days ago. The senior repeatedly disrupted the Lutheran offense by sprinting out of the goal for the ball.
Snyder made clutch saves in both halves. He came up with 11 saves in the second half as the Saints stepped up the pressure. Lutheran outshot the Bruins 19-11.
"Every time I thought I had a chance to go out and get the ball, I went out and got it," said Snyder, who made 15 saves last Tuesday. "I felt much more comfortable with the lead."
The Bruins took the lead almost immediately. Reed scored just 73 seconds into the game off a D'Anna pass, and D'Anna added the second goal with 2:46 gone for a quick 2-0 lead.
D'Anna set up the initial goal with a nice pass along the ground ahead of Reed, who was racing down the right wing. Reed caught up and then beat Lutheran goalie Eric Vowles with a bullet from about 10 yards. On the second goal, D'Anna fired one from the box that squirted through Vowles' legs.
"It was just too big of a hole to overcome," said Lutheran coach Bob Malzahn.
Park then dug the hole a little deeper. Reed scored his second goal with 6:39 left in the half after getting a loose ball in the box and putting in a 10-yard, left-footed shot. Jon McIntyre made it 4-0 with only 1:21 to go after a pass from Nathan Gorham.
"During the season, we've fallen behind a lot, and we don't come back well," said Reed. "I was happy [with the lead]."
Lutheran turned up the pressure in the second half.
The Saints got second-half goals from Jason Hewitt and Damian Valentine but couldn't come all the way back.
Snyder and the Park defense -- led by Stopper Gorham, fullback Sam Hendler and sweeper Zach Hettinger -- stopped most of the Lutheran tries.
"We had lots of chances," said Malzahn. "We just didn't [score]."