- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
BRANDYWINE The nation stopped to keep a close eye on the 2012 election.
For the Patuxent boys soccer team and the Gwynn Park Yellow Jackets, one issue had to be settled: Who would take home the Class 2A South Region championship plaque.
Patuxent head coach Brett Hansen was handed the 2A South Region championship plaque on a chilly Election Day afternoon and congratulated his team for a 5-0 win over host Gwynn Park in Prince George’s County.
The Panthers advanced to the 2A state semifinals where they will play Queen Anne’s of Queen Anne’s County at 5 p.m. today at Harford County’s Bel Air High School in Bel Air.
Hansen said the goal is to go all the way to the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the site of next weekend’s state championship games.
“They played really good, we needed them to play their game, which is pass and move and control and possession,” Hansen said. “so they did that real well. They moved the ball well. Last year, we were looking at this point and we go to the next [game against Fallston of Harford County], we were ahead and we lost in overtime and this year we want to go all the way to UMBC.”
Nick Carlson got the scoring started for the Panthers with a pass from Eric Brauner just 2 minutes 6 seconds into the game.
“We’re lucky to get the bracket [good competition] that we do,” Brauner said. “These next few days of practice we’re really going to have to get it out of heads that we aren’t going to be playing lower level teams but now higher level teams. It’s going to be really challenging.”
Gwynn Park first-year head coach Glen Breeding said his team definitely felt the momentum shift when the Panthers got up 2-0 with a goal from Eric Elder. Patuxent would lead 2-0 at halftime.
“I’m soaking this up, because unfortunately it ends here,” Breeding said. “We just made a few mistakes early on. I have a good nucleus of players that will still be here next year, so we’re still going to be good. It’s the fundamentals that we’re trying to improve.”
Gwynn Park senior goalie Daniel Mojica felt the heat of 23 shots on goal from the Panthers and Jake Hayden came out strong in the second half, firing a shot in the back of the net, getting past Gwynn Park’s Christian Yates and Jonathan Rodriguez just 1:10 into the second half to take a 3-0 lead.
Carlson and Noah Oster added the other tallies to the score as the sun was beginning to set quickly at Gwynn Park’s field, which does not have lights.
“I think they [Gwynn Park] played physical,” Oster said. “They were fast. It was tough to keep them contained at times. I think we did a good job keeping our composure and keeping the speed of the game up and playing our game. I think we did a good job of keeping our heads up in the second half and putting some more goals in so we could put the game away.”
Hayden said he and his team needed to keep their focus and not underestimate Gwynn Park.
“We knew they beat Calvert and Lackey and both of those teams gave us a challenge, so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Hayden said. “Coming in here we had to keep our minds right and not overthink it as ‘Just another P.G. team,’ but that this is the finals. It was a big deal to us last year to win it and we needed it to be a big deal this year.”
Gwynn Park finished up the season with a 12-2-1 record.
“Unfortunately it ends here,” Breeding said. “Our defense has been what primarily got us here and we just made a few mistakes early on and that gives the other team momentum. Soccer’s a funny game. The team that we beat two games ago [Calvert] beat them. It’s just that way sometimes.”