Still finding its identity, the Towson boys soccer team was confident but curious going into its first significant test against rival Eastern Tech in the league opener for both teams Thursday.
The Generals answered a lot of questions with a positive performance, claiming a 4-0 home win over the Mavericks in Baltimore County Division I play.
Senior midfielder Koshish Giri paced the offense with two goals and center backs Will Derbyshire and Eddie Anderson helped secure the clean sheet with goalkeeper Parker Fong making five saves as Towson improved to 5-0 on the season. Eastern Tech, which played without injured starting goalkeeper Nicholas Cannon, fell to 4-2.
Early goals in both halves — Jake Del Viscio scored three minutes into play and Giri made it 2-0 four minutes into the second half — proved vital in the Generals’ success.
With only two starters from last year’s team that captured the makeshift Baltimore County title in a condensed spring season, Towson has scored 22 goals and allowed just one in its five wins.
“We have a very young team and a lot of the seniors didn’t get a lot of playing time last year, so it’s very new and during scrimmages we struggled a little bit,” said Derbyshire, who is one of two returning starters alongside Giri. “But every single week we’ve gotten better and obviously today that showed. We played strong everywhere on the field, we put it in the net and got it done.
“Today was the test. We were going to see how the new team played and we just came out and balled out and did our thing. It’s amazing.”
Del Viscio was quick to help the Generals get going with a clean volley from 16 yards for the early advantage.
The Mavericks possessed the ball well through the middle most of the first half, but were unable to break through in the offensive third.
Towson coach Randy Dase was impressed with the Generals’ ability to adjust their plan at halftime.
They set out to play more aggressively and Giri cashed in. Parked in the middle, he took an entry pass from Jensen Specht, made a quick turn and scored with his left foot from 12 yards to make it 2-0 with 36 minutes to play.
Yielding another quick goal to start a half deflated the Mavericks.
“When you give up one 2 1/2 minutes into the first half and 3 1/2 minutes into the second half, that doesn’t bode well, and being teenagers, sometimes they don’t respond the way you want them to,” Eastern Tech coach Peter Glaudemans said. “The energy level was there, but the organizational effort as a team really kind of lost itself there when that happened and we need to find a way to fix that.”
Midway through the second half, Specht found Giri a second time to make it 3-0 before Nick Elliott scored a late goal to close out the scoring.
“We’ve been practicing hard, playing as a team,” Giri said. “We started on the wrong foot, were getting pressured a lot, but I think the team stayed compact, worked hard and we put the ball in the back of the net and that changed the game for us.”
With the young group, Dase said the plan is to improve every day. The Generals accomplished that Thursday.
“We picked up four victories before today, but this was our first test because they had Eastern Tech written on their shirts,” Dase said. “They have a great tradition, so I told them the men are coming in: Are we going to rise to the occasion or not? I’m very proud of them because they did step up today.”
Both teams continue league play Tuesday afternoon with the Generals traveling to Perry Hall and the Mavericks off to Franklin.
Goals: T –Giri 2, DelViscio, Elliott
Assists: T – Specht 2, Kanzler
Saves: ET – Sherman 4, Sakpazis 4; T – Fong 5
Half: T, 1-0