Quince Orchard Varsity Boys Soccer Wins Division Title
Going into Tuesday night’s game at Damascus, the Quince Orchard (QO) and Damascus boys’ soccer teams were tied for first place in the Montgomery County West Conference, both with 7-1 records. In the Washington Post high school soccer rankings, QO was ranked number 7 and Damascus number 9 in the Maryland/DC area. After their convincing 2-0 win over Damascus, the QO boys took sole possession of first place and cemented their status as one of the top high school teams in the state. They are now ranked 5th by the Washington Post.
QO dominated possession from the start, passing with precision and creating several good scoring opportunities in the first half. Damascus did look for chances to counterattack and sent several dangerous balls into the box, but the QO defense handled them adeptly and kept the home team from having any real scoring opportunities. At the end of the first half, QO had taken 11 shots and had 5 shots on goal. Damascus had 4 shots with just 1 on goal. But even though QO forced the Damascus goalkeeper to make several tough saves, the teams were tied 0-0 at the half.
QO kept up the pressure from the start of the 2nd half and went ahead 5 minutes after halftime on a beautiful set piece. Midfielder Alex Martinez sent a long free kick toward the far post. Eli Holmstead got to the ball in the air and one-touched it back across the mouth of the goal to fellow forward Everest Longo, who easily finished it to put QO ahead 1-0.
QO’s second goal came 10 minutes later. The Cougars again had possession in front of the Damascus goal, and a defender was called for an obvious hand ball in the box. Holmstead stepped up to take the penalty kick, his first of the year, and confidently put it in the back of the net. It was the 15th goal of the season for Holmstead, who went into the game as the leading scorer in the Maryland/DC area and is now one goal away from tying the 20-year old QO record for most goals in a season.
Later in the half, Martinez almost added a third goal on a free kick from about 7 yards outside the box. QO fans still remember his 2 beautiful free kick goals from last season, including one with just seconds left in overtime to beat Sherwood. He struck the ball perfectly, sending it over the wall and bending toward the upper left hand corner of the goal, but the keeper made a leaping save and just managed to tip it over the crossbar to keep his team within 2 goals.
Although QO continued to control possession after the 2nd goal, Damascus launched several dangerous counterattacks, including one that looked like it would give a speedy Damascus forward a one-on-one chance against the QO keeper, but he appeared to pull his hamstring and fell to the ground, untouched, before he could get to the ball. After the game was stopped, he had to be helped off the field.
Although QO goalie Scott Drazan was challenged with several crosses into the box, he handled them with confidence and made quick outlet passes to put the Cougars back on the offensive. In the 2nd half, Damascus again had only 4 shots with none on goal. QO had 13 shots with 5 on goal.
QO’s next game is at Magruder on Monday night, which should be another great game. Magruder’s record is 7-2, and they are in first place in the Montgomery County North Conference.
With Northwest’s loss to Damsacus on Wednesday, QO has won the 4A/3A West Division title!
Schedule of Games
|Tues||09.06.2016||7:15 pm||@ Sherwood High School||Win, 4-1|
|Thurs||09.08.2016||7:15 p.m.||Walt Whitman High School||Win, 3-1|
|Mon||09.12.2016||7:15 p.m.||Northwest High School||Loss, 2-3|
|Wed||09.14.2016||7:15 p.m.||Gaithersburg Sr High School||Win, 3-1|
|Mon||09.21.2016||7:15 p.m.||@ Poolesville Sr High School||Win, 18-1|
|Thurs||09.22.2016||7:15 p.m.||Seneca Valley High School||Win, 2-0|
|Tues||09.27.2016||7:15 p.m.||@ Clarksburg High School||Win, 2-1|
|Thurs||09.29.2016||7:15 p.m.||@Thomas S Wootton High School||Win, 2-0|
|Tues||10.04.2016||7:15 p.m.||@ Damascus High School||Win, 2-0|
|Mon||10.10.2016||7:15 p.m.||@ Col Zadok Magruder High School|
|Thurs||10.13.2016||5:15 p.m.||@ Richard Montgomery High School|
|Thurs||10.20.2016||5:15 p.m.||Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School|