Even running at half speed, Wilde Lake dominated.
Stationing up to five players on the defensive end for the majority of the game, Wilde Lake coasted to a 3-0 win over Poolesville of Montgomery County yesterday in a Class 1A, South Region semifinal. It was the Wildecats' first postseason win since they captured the 1A state crown in 1991.
Wilde Lake (7-4-2), which won by three goals for the second time all season, extended its unbeaten streak to four games. The top-seeded Wildecats face No. 2 seed Boonsboro, which defeated Smithsburg, 2-1, Tuesday, in the region final at Thomas Johnson on Saturday at 4 p.m.
In the second half, Wilde Lake protected a one-goal lead with extra defensive support. However, the front line of seniors Brian Jefferson and Kwesi Ewool-Robotham and juniors Jeffrey Curtis and Gavin Phillip still commanded a possession-type offense and outshot the Indians, 13-2, during the final 40 minutes.
"They really didn't want to pressure us with the ball," Jefferson said. "They just wanted to kick and run with the ball for a quick score. We knew their style and stopped them."
The Wildecats previously defeated Poolesville, 1-0, in their season opener.
"We weren't really worried about scoring," Wilde Lake head coach Dave Nesbitt said. "We knew all we had to do was work the ball ahead to Brian [Jefferson] and Kwesi [Ewool-Robotham] where we have the dangerous speed to score."
Wilde Lake opened the game with a Jefferson-led offensive ambush. In the first 10 minutes, Jefferson took four of the five Wilde Lake shots on goal.
Phillip lofted a left-footed crossing pass that sailed over a group of defenders and found Jefferson in a one-on-one situation on the right side of the goal.
Jefferson, who missed the same opportunity five minutes earlier, scored into the left corner of the goal from 5 yards out at the 8:41 mark. It was Jefferson's 10th goal.
"We wanted to get this game over with early," Jefferson said.
Curtis ensured the victory with second-half goals at the 49- and 74-minute marks off a corner kick and a breakaway. Curtis has 10 goals.
"Our guys were extremely patient in the second half," Nesbitt said.
Wilde Lake dominated Poolesville with a 25-4 shot advantage. The Wildecats defense, anchored by junior Joshua Briefel and sophomore Jeremy Young, held the Indians without a shot for a 48:30 period during the game.