As Howard and Montgomery counties renewed their bitter soccer rivalry again last night, only one thing was missing - the bitterness.
Six schools, three each from Howard and Montgomery, participated in the inaugural Ulman Soccer Festival yesterday at Howard High School.
"It always seems that many of the state championship games come down to schools from Howard and Montgomery counties," said Doug Ulman, the festival's director. "We thought this was a great way to raise awareness, and to showcase local high school soccer."
The awareness Ulman speaks of is for cancer research for young adults. He has survived three bouts with two types of cancer.
"We try to help young adults from ages 15 through 35 who have cancer," said Ulman, who played soccer at Centennial and Brown University. "When I got cancer, there was a lot of support for younger people with cancer, and for older people also. We try to fill in the gap."
Yesterday's games raised just over $5,000 for the Ulman Cancer Fund.
Third-ranked Oakland Mills (3-0 after festival) got a scare from Bethesda-Chevy Chase (3-2), but rallied to win, 4-2.
The Scorpions trailed by 2-1 at the half, but coach Bill Shea moved fleet-footed Kyle Farmer from midfield to forward. Farmer responded with two goals to lead Oakland Mills. In its second game, the defending state 1A champions Scorpions used second-half goals by Brandon Hawkes and a penalty kick by Trevor Shea to defeat Springbrook (2-1) by 2-0.
"We've played three games in 36 hours, and it showed in the second game," said Scorpions coach Don Shea. "We definitely played like we looked - tired."
The Scorpions dominated play, and had several chances before Hawkes beat Springbrook goalie Zekaris Thompson from 30 yards midway through the second half.
Sixth-ranked River Hill (1-1-1), the three time defending state Class 3A champs, beat John F. Kennedy (1-4), 4-1 in its first game.
The second game wasn't as kind to the Hawks. Bethesda-Chevy Chase's David Gutman took advantage of a misplayed clearing pass in front of the River Hill goal and converted the deflection for a 1-0 win four minutes into overtime.
Howard (1-3) lost its opener to Springbrook, 1-0, on a goal by Jonathan Bernard. The Lions rebounded in the second game, getting a goal from Jon Frees in the first half to defeat Kennedy, 1-0. The victory was Howard's first after three straight one-goal losses.