Concordia keeps pace; BL wins to stay in playoff hunt

No. 18 Friends School bounced back from its first MIAA B Conference soccer loss of the year, to Concordia Prep on Friday, with a 2-1 win over Annapolis Area Christian, Monday in Annapolis.

With the victory, the first-place Quakers (10-1-1 overall & league), who have four conference games to play, clinched no worse than second seed for the playoffs and a first round bye in the post-season.

Concordia (12-3-1 overall, 9-3 league) also won on Monday, defeating Severn, 5-2, to stay within four points of Friends. The Saints have nearly clinched an opening round bye as well. Also on Monday in the B Conference, Boys’ Latin defeated Park School, 3-1, for its second straight win, keeping the Lakers in the thick of the playoff chase.

Friends dominated early in its match, but wasted many good chances to go ahead within the first 15 minutes. A few changes were made, however, and junior Sean Sewell entered the field with great affect, as he raised for a header, off a Jordan Finn corner kick, which hit the crossbar and bounced in.

Shortly after Sewell won the ball at midfield and played it to Paul Benzer, who took on two players and slotted frehsman Ned Forbush through one-on-one and Forbush finished for a 2-0 lead at the half.

AACS pushed numbers forward in the second half and created a few half chances to keep the game interesting. Friends again created three glorious opportunities to put the game to bed but missed the target on each occasion.

The AACS pressure paid off with 11 minutes to go when the Eagles put in a rebound off a corner to make it 2-1. Friends, however, protected the one goal advantage and closed out the victory.

In its victory, Boys’ Latin received single goals from Ben Smith and Hunter Hegmann and Ben Grace assisted on both tallies.

Although Friends and Concordia have dominated the top of the league, literally every team is still in the playoff hut, as only seven points separates third-place AACS and ninth-place St. Mary’s. Over the final two weeks of the season, the bottom seven teams will battle for the just four playoff slots.

Behind ACCS (5-5-2, 17 points), Saints Peter & Paul (4-4-3, 15) is in fourth and Park (4-6-1, 13) is in fifth. Gerstell and Severn (each 4-6, 12) are tied for sixth, followed by BL (3-7-2, 11) and St. Mary’s (3-7-1, 10).