Oakland Mills won its league opener with a composed, workmanlike effort against visiting Glenelg yesterday, 2-0.
The No. 2-ranked Scorpions resisted the inclination to look ahead to Friday's showdown with No. 1-ranked River Hill.
"Our coach told us this was our most important game so far because we need to go through Glenelg to win regions," said right fullback Victor Berndt, who scored Oakland Mills' first goal in the 55th minute on a left-footed kick off Glenn Hayman's flick of Brian Grund's throw-in.
Oakland Mills (4-0 overall, 1-0 Howard league) and No. 12-ranked Glenelg (2-3-1, 0-2) are the only two Class 1A county schools this season. Oakland Mills is the defending Class 1A champ. Glenelg won the state 1A title two years ago.
Oakland Mills coach Don Shea wanted to make certain his players understood the importance of yesterday's game. "I told them I was only going to play 13 guys, that the Grapefruit League part of our season was over."
Shea actually employed 15 players and juggled combinations of forwards, midfielders and defenders to the point where only his son, Trevor, at center midfield, and goalkeeper Chris Ebeling played the entire game at the same position.
Oakland Mills scored its second goal in the 72nd minute when Trevor Shea hit a through ball to Kyle Farmer, who outraced three defenders for about 20 yards. Farmer's shot deflected off diving Glenelg goalkeeper Corey Shea.
Jeremy Catlin trailed the play on the far side and had plenty of space to score easily from about the 18-yard line.
"This was the first time [this season] that we had to play the whole game," Catlin said about the young Glenelg team's respectable effort.
Oakland Mills had two goals waved off for offside in the first half, both of which Shea thought were legitimate scores.
Glenelg had its only good scoring chance in the first half. Ebeling made a diving save.
After scoring its first goal, Oakland Mills dropped back in a defensive posture typical of the Scorpions.
Said Shea: "I was pleased we got the shutout. Hayman played very well and is one of the best defenders in the county. And he's dangerous on headers."
Glenelg coach Pete Klisas said: "We did fine. They had good speed up top and we held up fairly well. They are an older, stronger team that overpowers you with corner kicks and throw-ins. We tried to knock it around, but kept getting hit."
He didn't think Oakland Mills tried to string many passes together on the ground. "If you're going to play Oakland Mills, you're going to play volleyball, not soccer."
Pub Date: 9/29/99