Massaponax forward Brian Pate's strong right leg earned him a scholarship to kick for the William & Mary football team next fall. It is also why he takes every penalty kick awarded to the Panthers.
Pate fulfilled that duty against No. 10 Stafford last night, scoring on a penalty kick that propelled Massaponax to a 1-0 victory in a AAA Commonwealth District boys' soccer game in Fredericksburg.
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Northwest quarterback Ike Whitaker completed 157 of 262 passes for a school-record 2,586 yards, with 28 TDs and only 10 INTs in leading the Jaguars to the Maryland 3A championship. He is The Post's Offensive Player of the Year.
North Stafford defensive lineman Cordarrow Thompson had 102 tackles, including 43 for a loss, and nine sacks in 13 games to lead the Wolverines' smothering defense. He is The Post's Defensive Player of the Year.
• All-League Teams
• Fall 2004 All-Mets
• All-Mets Since 1990
"I run it through my head first, and I just bury it," Pate said of his approach to penalty kicks. "You should be able to hit a PK whether a keeper is there or not and make it every time. You should be able to tell the keeper where you're going and make it."
In a rematch of last season's Northwestern Region and Commonwealth District championship games, both of which Massaponax (4-2, 2-1) won, Pate was tripped a yard inside the penalty area during the 21st minute. On the ensuing penalty kick, he blasted a chest-high shot just inside the right post for the goal.
The game was particularly important for both teams because each lost earlier this week. In a district with as many as five teams that are legitimate contenders for the title, the victory gave the host Panthers a boost entering their match with first-place North Stafford on Tuesday.
"I'll take it after the week we had," Massaponax Coach Chris Farrell said. "This was a huge game for us. I told our guys that we needed to win tonight so we could play for first place on Tuesday."
Stafford (5-2, 1-2) lost its second straight match after beginning the season 5-0.
"It's tough to be one-two in the district, especially in a district like ours this year where anybody can pretty much beat you on any night, and there's no real gimme games," Stafford Coach Dave Sweazey said.
Each team managed five shots in the extremely physical contest. Pate, an honorable mention All-Met last season, and Stafford captain Bobby Foglesong left the game at separate times with knee injuries. Foglesong's injury sidelined him for more than a quarter, but he returned in the second half.