FREDERICK -- Wilde Lake has made a habit of winning the close ones this season and yesterday's Class 1A South Region final was no exception.
Sophomore fullback Jeremy Young picked a good time to score his first goal of the season. He dropped a 30-yard direct kick over Boonsboro goalkeeper Brad Distad's outstretched hands to end a scoreless overtime struggle at Thomas Johnson High School.
The shot from the right side came 2 minutes, 30 seconds into the first 10-minute sudden-death overtime.
"I normally take our direct kicks from that area and usually I play for the far post, but this time I decided on the near post," Young said. "It was one of the best feelings I've ever had when it went in."
His shot surprised teammates Jeff Curtis and Brian Jefferson, who were both waiting at the far post on the direct kick. Jefferson made a run that may have distracted Distad.
"I was extremely surprised," Curtis said. "I was waiting for it to come across and hoping to do something with it."
Young never would have had a chance to be the hero, however, if not for a sensational save by Wildecats goalkeeper John Beakes with 40 seconds left in regulation.
Second-seeded Boonsboro (7-4-3) created a dangerous situation with a cross in front of the net, and Beakes blocked one shot before grabbing the loose ball.
"John really stepped up his play because that was the ballgame right there," Wilde Lake coach Dave Nesbitt said. "John has thought he's struggled this season, but he raised his level tonight and played consistently."
Beakes also made a difficult diving save in the 26th minute off a low hard shot by Alan Mullendore.
Boonsboro started five fullbacks and sometimes went to six defensive players in an effort to stop Wilde Lake's speed up top.
And the Warrios were successful for most of the game. Boonsboro sweeper Chris Meehan was particularly effective.
"They were very aggressive and played a high-pressure defense which took us out of our game," Nesbitt said.
Top-seeded Wilde Lake (8-4-2) failed to finish the few good scoring opportunities it created, however.
The best chance came in the 58th minute when a rare Boonsboro defensive lapse allowed Jefferson to get free at the 6-yard line on the right post. His shot went right at the goalkeeper, however.
"I wasn't thinking. I just kicked it," Jefferson said. "I think there was enough of an angle for me to have scored."
Neither team played a particularly sharp game offensively. Nesbitt blamed that on the postponement of the game from Saturday due to inclement weather.
Wilde Lake meets Hereford in the state semifinals Friday at 5 p.m. at South Hagerstown High School.