Decatur Boys Score Dramatic 1-0 Win over Bennett
BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s unbeaten boys’ varsity soccer team scored a major win at home on Wednesday, beating also unbeaten Bennett, 1-0, on a late second half goal to take command of the Bayside South standings.
Something had to give with both teams entering the rare mid-afternoon contest without a loss in the Bayside South, and for about 35 minutes, no team had gained an edge in the hard fought, physical contest in front of a loud, bipartisan crowd at Seahawk Stadium. The Seahawks entered the game with a 8-2 record overall including a perfect 7-0 mark in the Bayside South. The Clippers came in at 7-0-2 overall including a 5-0-1 conference record.
Neither team scored in the first half during which both had opportunities. In the second half, the physical battle continued on both ends of the field, and perhaps more importantly in the middle, where the 50-50 balls were won and lost by both teams. With about nine minutes remaining, Bennett got a great opportunity with an indirect penalty kick from just outside the box on the left side, but Decatur keeper Logan Thumma made an outstanding save to keep the game scoreless.
With just under six minutes left, Decatur’s Alton Walker took a pass in the middle of the field, made a nice move past the last Bennett defender as the ball hung briefly in the air and then fired a low shot passed the Bennett keeper to put the Seahawks ahead 1-0. The goal touched off a wild celebration on the field, the bench and in the stands, but there was still a lot of time left and Bennett would not go quietly.
Thumma came up big down the stretch, making save after save as Bennett frantically tried to tie the game. The Clippers made one last big push with under a minute left and a Bennett forward got a great look at the goal, but Thumma made one more diving stop to seal the 1-0 win.
Wednesday’s big win came just two days after Decatur narrowly beat Wicomico on Monday on the road to keep its unbeaten conference record unblemished. Nick White led the Seahawks in that contest with two goals, while Zach Elmer and David Bernal-Clark added single tallies.