FREDERICK — A new twist on an existing rivalry was born Wednesday night.
While the Mead Mavericks and Frederick Warriors have tangled in almost all other sports, now boys soccer is in the mix. Chalk up win No. 1 in the record books for the more veteran team.
Frederick’s Justin Wu provided the take-it-home shot at Warriors Stadium, nailing a picture-perfect shot from 30 yards in the 77th minute to give his team a 1-0 victory against the upstart Mavericks, playing their first season as a varsity squad. While Frederick also brought home its first win of the season, it felt like this could be a pretty heated series for years to come.
“We’re so fresh I don’t think they’ve had a chance to think about that yet, but I’m certain it’s going to grow into a real nice rivalry,” said Mead coach Mike Schulz.
Frederick shook off several near-misses for Mead and a questionable offside call early that took a goal off the board, finally capitalizing on a long hard shot from Wu after settling the ball in the offensive third. It was one of the rare chances Frederick had in the run of play, as most of its best opportunities came in set pieces.
But at halftime, coach J Doehring emphasized letting a ball rip if FHS got to the top of the box. That’s just what Wu did, only from even further out.
“Good play from my buddy Jarod (Campbell), and I had time to look at the goal and shoot it on frame,” Wu said. “First official home game and we came out with the W. We played hard, and we got tired, but we kept up.”
Just minutes earlier, Mead missed out on a golden opportunity on a corner kick, when a turnaround shot in the middle of a pack in front of the net skipped within a ball’s width of the goal. Otherwise, when the Mavericks had good looks, Frederick goalie Victor Avalos was there with good hands.
His best save perhaps came in the early stages of the game, when Oskari Peltonen had a point-blank shot denied by Avalos on the short side of the goal.
The Warriors immediately fed off that, appearing to take a 1-0 lead before a late offsides whistle nixed the tally.
But Frederick battled through a surprisingly sound Mavericks squad. Avalos finished with six saves and had plenty of other touches just outside of the posts.
“We’re a real small squad, and we don’t have a single defensive sub right now,” Doehring said. “I think Victor played well in goal, I think Joan (Chavarria) played well in front of him, and I think we put pressure on the top of the box but just needed to step a little quicker.
“They probably outshot us, to be honest. You don’t expect a first-year program to do that well, but hats off to them because they’re doing fantastic.”
Abel Huerta and Danny Macias were also heavily involved in Frederick’s offense, which is still trying to get going having posted just three goals in three games.
Meanwhile, with a makeshift roster of athletes really just learning the game, the Mavericks appeared to have some flow and speed. They also have a win under their belts, which Schulz said has kicked in some confidence.
“I’m proud of the way they’ve played and improved … we had our opportunities and pretty soon if we work hard those will convert to goals,” Schulz said. “We’ve got overall good speed, and we have some kids with exceptional speed. We just need to teach them how to play soccer.”
Tyler Brady had four saves in the loss for Mead.
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FREDERICK 1, MEAD 0
At Frederick HS
Mead (1-2, 0-2) 0 0 — 0
Frederick (1-1-1, 1-1) 0 1 — 1
Goals (assists) — Frederick: Justin Wu (Jarod Campbell assist), 77th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Mead: Tyler Brady (80-1-4); Frederick: Victor Avalos (80-0-6).