Tuesday's boys soccer poll in The Baltimore Sun proved to be a dose of incentive for Arundel last night.
"Our kids were talking about the poll with North County No. 12 and we weren't ranked, and I told them, it matters most where we are at the end of the year, " said Arundel coach Nick Jauschnegg after the Wildcats edged the visiting Knights, 2-1.
Arundel (4-1) came out fired up against North County (3-1-1).
Senior halfback Pat Fridley gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead just under five minutes into the game.
Dave Tillman, who assisted Fridley on his goal, gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead with about 30 minutes left before the Knights' scored with about 12 1/2 minutes to go.
Sonio Proserpi's header was the lone North County goal and it was one of only six shots on goal by the Knights.
"We came out flat, and they took it to us the first 20-30 minutes," said North County's second-year coach Mike St. Martin.
"I don't what it was with them and there are only so many things you can say to them."
Jauschnegg wasn't totally happy with his side's performance.
"We didn't play well, but I'm satisfied we won. If we're going to beat Chesapeake, Broadneck, Severna Park and teams like that we're going to have to play a lot better," Jauschnegg said.
Jauschnegg felt his senior sweeper Jimmy Woods played well along with Fridley, Tillman and center forward Jason Hoyt.
Arundel outshot North County, 15-6, but couldn't finish and Jauschnegg gave credit where it was due.
"Their keeper kept them in the game, and some of the saves he made were as good as any you will see at any level," he said.
North County's sophomore goalie Shawn Jones had 10 saves. He made nifty saves before and after Tillman's goal or the game could have been a rout just 11 minutes into the second half.
His counterpart, senior Dave Lima was called on to make only five saves, just one in the second half.