Perry Hall Boys Soccer Looking to Win 4A North Title on Tuesday
Perry Hall's boys soccer team is in a familiar situation. After beating Baltimore County rival Catonsville 2-1 in double overtime yesterday, the Gators have qualified for the MPSSAA 4A North regional championship game. The last time the Gators made it to this stage of the postseason was in 2013, where they lost to eventual state finalist Blake.
"From day one, we set high expectations for this team," head coach Pete Eibner said. "It is a senior heavy group with some very talented players."
Perry Hall has responded well to those high expectations this season. The team is 14-3 and finished 6-0 in their division. They outscored their divisional opponents 26-1.
The Gators have also been racking up the individual accolades in 2015- Perry Hall has seven players who made 1st Team All-County and one who made 2nd Team All-County. They also have two 1st Team All-State selections and one All-State honorable mention.
"We are technically sound and very fast. When I watch film of our play, it seems like teams will have us closed down and then, boom! Someone makes an opening and the game changes," said Pete Eibner. "We can go from trapped in our end to attacking on their end in seconds."
Perry Hall's leader on the offensive side of the ball has been Colin Weyant. Playing as either a striker or midfielder, Weyant has come through for the Gators this year, scoring 11 goals and nine assists. His speed and touch with the ball has made him a difficult player for opponents to contain.
Jack Muller has also scored 11 goals for the Gators and has been a key presence for Perry Hall. Muller had to miss the team's Baltimore County championship against Catonsville because of an injury. The Gators lost 1-0, and the team missed Muller's instincts and finishing ability in front of goal.
Gaige Robinson has been a dominant figure in the team's midfield, frequently breaking up the play of opposing teams. Robinson also possesses excellent vision when in possession of the ball, which he uses to help link play between Perry Hall's defense and offense.
The team's back line of Matt Goodall, Aaron Burbridge, Kyle Gosnell and Evan Eibner have proved to be a difficult unit for opponents to get past. Goodall and Burbridge are the team's centerbacks and have excellent chemistry in the middle of the team's defense. Gosnell's skill and competitive edge makes him a crucial player for Perry Hall. Evan Eibner is an intelligent player who missed the first four games of the season. Once he got back on the field, the unit recorded five straight shutouts.
"All of our kids commit to defending. It's a choice that each of them make that if we lose the ball, we pressure to get it back," said Pete Eibner. "Each individual works as part of a unit to make sure that teams do not possess the ball against us."
Looking ahead to Tuesday, Perry Hall faces Howard, a team they beat 3-1 in early October. The earlier result will mean nothing when the two square off for the regional title in what should be an intense game.
If Perry Hall gets past Howard, they'll be in the state semifinals and two wins away from a state championship. The Gators have won two regional titles since Pete Eibner started coaching at the school and has consistently been a contender, but a state championship has eluded them.
"It would be an amazing experience for this special group of kids. To be the best is a lofty goal, but they are focused on pursuing it," said Pete Eibner. "Right now though, our focus is on Howard. We don't look ahead. If we win that game, it is its own reward."
|November 7th, 2015||By: Wick Eisenberg|