(Oct. 31, 3014) The Worcester Prep boys’ soccer team fell to the Salisbury Christian Jaguars, 3-1, in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game last Friday.
The Jaguars led 2-0 at halftime in Salisbury. Prep Coach Terry Underkoffler said he made adjustments for the second half, moving players around.
“We had to create chances. We had to go to goal hard,” he said. “We took it to them.”
About 15 minutes into the second half, Prep freshman Brendan Miller scored on a direct free kick. Salisbury made it 3-1 with about seven minutes remaining. Worcester junior goalie Charlie Pritchard logged eight saves.
“The finals was like two games in one. The first 10 minutes we were cautious, we played almost too cautious,” Underkoffler said. “We settled in a little bit and after 25 minutes we started to kick it into high gear…I was proud of their effort. They just gave everything.”
The Mallards advanced to the ESIAC finals with a 5-0 shutout over the Holly Grove Eagles last Thursday in Berlin.
The Mallards knew they had to come out strong after the game the week before with the Eagles ended in a 3-3 tie, Underkoffler said.
“We put them under high pressure all over the field. We wore them down,” he said.
Miller provided the home team with a 2-0 lead in the first half. Sophomore Owen Nally boosted Worcester’s advantage to three goals. Senior captain Sam Deeley headed a sophomore Tate Shockley corner kick into the goal and Tucker Brown, a freshman, tallied the team’s fifth point. Pritchard made five saves.
Worcester had one final game Monday against Sussex Central in Georgetown, Del. The Mallards lost 2-1.
‘We played well. We hung with them,” Underkoffler said.
Sussex scored first, but Worcester answered before halftime. Sophomore Aria ZiaShakeri netted a Shockley corner. The Golden Knights tallied their second goal with about 12 minutes left in the game. Pritchard had eight saves.
“We left the field feeling good about how we played,” Underkoffler said.
Worcester finished the year 9-6-1.
“Since August, I saw a lot of improvement and growth,” Underkoffler said.
Several Mallards were presented with All-ESIAC honors. Nally, Pritchard and junior captain Wyatt Richins received First Team accolades. Miller, junior Elio Telo and sophomore Patrick Petrera earned Second Team honors. Deeley took home Honorable Mention recognition.
The team will lose eight players to graduation, two – Deeley and senior Kyle Chandler – were starters.
“We have the potential to be good next year,” Underkoffler said. “I think we’ll have some nice depth. We have skilled players in a lot of positions.”