It took a shootout to decide a winner in Tuesday night’s Class 2A East boys soccer playoff game at Harford Tech.
The host Cobras and visiting North Harford Hawks battled for 100 minutes with neither finding the opposition goal, thus sending the game to the kicks where Tech had the winning edge, 4-2.
Five other county boys teams, meanwhile, were also in the win column Tuesday.
"It is an emotional roller coaster, I mean it was back and forth, great game,” Tech coach Mike Dempsey said. “Two young teams, really two young teams, they have no seniors, we only have five.”
It was one of those seniors, Ronin Bangs, who started the scoring for the Cobras in the shootout.
North Harford’s Henry Mejia matched the Bangs goal and it went to Tech's Owen Marvel, who also scored.
North Harford’s Dylan Jablon, though, saw his shot sail high and off the cross bar. Freshman Aydin Blevins drilled the next Tech shot, while Javier Mejia did as well for the Hawks.
Tech's fourth shooter, Enoch Wiredu, also scored, making it a must make for North Harford’s Matthew Biedermann.
Unfortunately for Biedermann, his shot was high and over the goal, locking up the win for the Cobras (10-2).
"It was really good to watch and I was real excited, but our guys stepped up and it's nothing more intense than a penalty shootout and it's a tough way to lose, too. Great game by everybody,” coach Dempsey said.
Both teams had chances in regulation play, but most of the chances weren't truly great. When they were though, both goalies, Tech's John Panek and North Harford’s Mill Heinze, were good and the defense in front of each even better.
Tech defender Jacob Arcilesi saved a goal midway in the first half for Tech, while Jack Dempsey made another game-saving stop late in the second half. “Honestly, I feel like last year we lost to North Harford in the first round of the playoffs, 3-2. I feel like we didn’t want that again,” defender Jack Dempsey said. “So, we came out with the mentality that no matter what shot they had, whether it was hard, soft whatever it was, we're just gonna throw our bodies in front of it and try to save anything we can. It was just defend our goal at all cost.”
When the ball did get to Panek in goal, the senior keeper was there to make the save. Panek finished with seven saves.
North Harford keeper Heinze was equally solid, making five saves. "They had a really good defense, I’ve got to shout out Justin Gue and number three, I don’t know his name, but he marked me up very, very well,” Wiredu said. North Harford’s number three is Ethan Schaum.
"We won in PK’s last game and we missed two today, so we're at the other end of it today,” Hawks coach Matt Johnstone said. “Both teams played hard today. Everyone worked hard, it was hard-fought by both teams.”
North Harford’s season ends at 7-6.
Tech will host Fallston (7-8-1), a 3-2 winner at Elkton (6-6-1) on Friday.
Patterson Mill (10-2) rolled over visiting Colonel Richardson in 1A East, winning, 6-0.
The Huskies were led by Michal Gradus’ two goals and one assist. Joe Cicenia also scored two goals.
Other goal scorers were Chris Marin-Lopez and Anthony Sulinski. Assists were earned by Matt Funk, Mike Noya, Isaac Rich, Christian Shertzer and Paul Kim.
Goalie Zack Fenlock made six saves and Ian Sauer came on to record one save.
The Huskies will host Joppatowne (7-4-2) in Friday’s next round. The Mariners won 4-3 over visiting Bo Manor (7-6).
Mustangs, Bobcats will meet again
Both C. Milton Wright (10-3) and Bel Air (12-5-1) were winners in 3A North.
The Mustangs defeated visiting Dundalk, 3-0.
Nick Dunstan-Maiese tallied a goal and Ryan Belfiore scored twice. Eddie Arrison had two assists.
In goal, Zach Hetrick had two saves for CMW. Dundalk keeper Michael Gregory made eight saves.
The Mustangs led at the half, 2-0.
Bel Air’s win came at home, a 9-1 victory over Edgewood (5-8-1).
Ethan Lassen and Emre Sipos had three goals apiece to lead the way.
CMW will host Bel Air in Friday’s round.
Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports