(Nov. 1, 2013) The Worcester Prep boys’ soccer team edged out the Salisbury Christian Jaguars, 2-1, last Friday to capture the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship title.
“It was a battle,” said Worcester Coach Terry Underkoffler. “I’m elated with the effort the guys put forth. The way they played defense was unparalleled.”
About 20 minutes into the game in Salisbury, senior captain Ryan Nally faked a shot on a free kick and passed to J.B. Loomis. Loomis, a senior captain, played the ball across the goal and senior Jack Marshall put it away.
Salisbury made it 1-1 about 10 minutes into the second half. After the goal, Underkoffler said it was a “furious battle back and forth, up and down the field.”
With about nine minutes remaining in the match, Nally beat two Salisbury Christian defenders and went one-on-one with the Jaguars’ keeper. He put the ball in the back of the net to give the Prep squad the go-ahead goal.
Salisbury fought hard to score in the final minutes and was nearly successful, but Mallards’ senior goalie Isiah Nsah came up with a big save, diving to keep the ball out of the net. He finished the game with 13 saves.
“Lucky No. 13 was the best one,” Underkoffler said.
The Mallards held off the Jaguars’ charge and won the ESIAC trophy.
From the start of the game to the end, Underkoffler said he was pleased with his players’ performance. They definitely earned the title, he said.
“The effort they put out to defend them, to stop them, was just amazing and there was no letdown when they tied,” Underkoffler said. “They left everything out on the field for 80 minutes.”
Sophomore Charlie Trupo was an “unsung hero out there,” Underkoffler said. His task was to cover Salisbury Christian senior Brady Dorman, the league’s leading scorer. Trupo did his job well, only allowing Dorman to get two shots off.
“That was quite a defensive effort. To shut him down was key,” the coach said.
Worcester finished the year 12-3-2. Underkoffler said he was pleased with the season overall. The boys worked hard, they grew as players and there was depth at nearly every position so they could play different systems.
Nally led the squad with 16 goals and 24 assists. He was named ESIAC Player of the Year.
Receiving First Team accolades was Nally, Loomis, senior captain Chris Klug and sophomore Wyatt Richins. Freshman Owen Nally earned Second Team honors and sophomore Brian Trupo was awarded Honorable Mention distinction.
Twelve seniors, four of whom were starters, will graduate in May so Underkoffler said the squad will be young next year. There will, however, be a solid core returning in 2014.