By Kevin O’Rourke
Four days after the Northwest football team took home the King’s Trophy in a huge in over Seneca Valley, the two schools met on the same field to decide who would be Kings of the soccer Pitch, but even after two overtime sessions, a winner could not be crowned.
Neither squad is having a fantastic year, Seneca Valley was 0-3 and Northwest was 1-3 coming into Tuesday’s showdown, but the play was exciting and spirited with each team creating opportunities to score.
A bad clearance lead to the Northwest goal as sophomore forward, Michael Bolou took a shot from the wing that went past Seneca Valley’s junior keeper Christopher Ocon. “After the goal, the team settled and started to play better, with more confidence as the game went on,” said Seneca Valley Head Coach Hugo Zapata.
“We were good in the first half,” said Northwest Head Coach Kert Mease, “but didn't put away our chances. I think the longer the game was 1-0 the more confidence Seneca gained and they became a more dangerous team in the second half.”
SV’s senior forward Chrisitan Diaz put the equalizer past Northwest’s keeper, Petur Bogan. Sophomore Miguel Aguilar sent a through ball to freshman Hafiz Zamani who was able to get it to Diaz for the goal.
And that’s where the scoring ended. Both teams were able to move the ball up and down the pitch, but good defense on both ends would repel any further scoring attempts. Seneca Valley’s center back junior Vick Rojas took control of the defense and did a better job of covering some of Northwest’s very talented strikers.
“We didn't get many offensive opportunities on the first half,” said Zapata, “but led by juniors Andy Diaz and Euginio Ajavon we started to win some 50/50 balls in the middle.”
Midway through the second half, Northwest would be awarded a penalty kick, which seemed would put them on top, but Christopher Ocon dove left and got a hand on the shot to push it wide and keep the score knotted at one goal apiece.
“I think it motivated the team and it was a turning point for our players,” said Zapata. “We created more opportunities and control the tempo of the game.”
Northwest’s Bogan would also come up huge on a direct kick from Seneca Valley’s junior Eugenio Ajavon, who sailed a shot over the Northwest wall of players and looked to be headed to back of the net, until Bogan was able to leap in front and safely handle the shot keeping the score even.
“Petur has made tremendous strides from last year to this. I believe we have two of the best keepers in the county and possibly the two best," said Mease speaking of Bogan and junior keeper Mathew Mighty.
Two additional 10 minute periods proved to be not enough to break the tie as both defenses held tough to preserve the draw. This is the first no-decision game for each team.
While neither team was happy with the result, Zapata likes the direction his team is moving in. “It is a good result to build upon. Overall I'm very pleased with the effort of the players and their will to always fight even when we are down. Northwest has some very talented players they have good ball control and they are not afraid to take players on one-on-one. They like to build up the attack from the middle and they are not afraid to take shots.”
Seneca Valley, 0-3-1, will face 2-1-1 Sherwood High School at home on Friday at 7 pm. Northwest, 1-3-1, will host winless Poolesville on Saturday at noon.
“In order for us to win vs. Poolesville,” said Mease, “We need to defend with all 11 players and not five or six. We also must move off the ball much better. We do too much reacting and not enough anticipating. We need consistency.”
Last Friday, Northwest defeated Sherwood on goals from junior Emil Owusu who scored off a volley from a corner kick. Junior Henry Gomez would cement the victory on by burying a penalty kick with six minutes left to beat previously unbeaten Sherwood 2-1. The Jags played Walter Johnson High School on Tuesday, Sept. 16 but fell 1-0 in overtime.
The Screaming Eagles suffered a 6-0 loss to Leonardtown last Saturday, and a 2-0 loss to Richard Montgomery last Tuesday, Sept 16.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town....
While the Germantown high school boys soccer teams were locked in an epic battled for bragging rights at Seneca Valley, the battle was less tightly contested among the girls who were playing at Northwest.
The lady Jags got goals from 8 different players in a dominating 10-0 shut-out of the cross-town rivals. Junior goal keeper Katherine Skiscim earned the clean sheet, while on offense the Jags had three freshmen combine for four goals. Mackenzie Schrantz notched her first and second career high school goals, Lexi Halem also got her first career goal. Leanna Choo added the fourth freshman goal from an assist by sophomore Sam Sekscienski.
Seniors Delaney Jacobs and Dana Eckstrom had one goal each, Sekcienski had the helper on Eckstrom’s goal. Juniors Hannah Crook and Brooke Wallmark also had one each. Sophomore Sydney Glad scored twice.
The win over Seneca Valley really turned around what could have been rough patch in the lady Jags season. Last week, the Northwest girls suffered losses at Walter Johnson and Sherwood.
In the lost 2-1 loss to Sherwood on Friday, the Jaguars battled back to within one goal after senior captain Katerina Lake was brought down in the box, and forced a penalty kick, which was sent to the back of the net by sophomore Sam Sekscienski.
Last Wednesday, Northwest fell 4-2 to the Walter Johnson, but got tallies from two sophomores. Emmy Abdullah put Northwest up 1-0 with a penalty kick, after junior Mireille Gerdes drew the penalty. Late in the game, Sam Sekscienski rocketed one to the upper corner for a second goal.
Top: Northwest’s Henry Gomez (17) fights past Seneca Valley’s Eugenio Ajavon (11) and Francisco Granados (18).
Next: Seneca Valley’s defender Vick Rojas (15) stops Northwest’s Henry Gomez as he advances on the goal.
Next: Seneca Valley goalkeeper Christopher Ocon dives to his left to stop a penalty kick.
Next: Northwest goalkeeper Petur Bogan leaps to save a free kick shot from Eugenio Avajon late in the Tuesday’s game.
Next: Northwest’s Justin Forester (15) collides with Seneca Valley’s John Arias (10) as they compete for the ball.
Next: Seneca Valley’s Alyssa Delgadillo (11) and Northwest’s Rachelle Andino (15) fight for the ball.
Last: Northwest’s Ashley Kim (4) brings the ball up field.
Photos by Germantown Pulse