Rockville proved it can score goals in bunches -- even short-handed -- en route to claiming one of the team's biggest victories in recent years, a 4-1 win over rival Bethesda-Chevy Chase on Friday.
Now the Rams just need to work on their celebrations.
Juniors Eduardo Flores and Alex Goycochea each scored a pair of goals to lift Rockville to its first victory over the Barons in at least four seasons. It also put the Rams (8-1) in position to claim the Montgomery 3A/2A/1A division title after finishing second to Bethesda-Chevy Chase each of the past four years. Rockville needs to win just one of its final three games to secure the division title.
The victory, however, came at a cost. Both Flores and Goycochea received red cards and were ejected for excessive celebrations -- Flores took off his shirt after his second goal, and Goycochea, who carried a yellow card into the game, ran off the field to celebrate after his second goal. By rule, both players were required to sit out yesterday's game against Wheaton.
"They know the rules," Rockville Coach Abdel Makhlouf said. "At this age, it's just hard to control teenagers after beating B-CC."
This season may have seemed like Rockville's least likely chance to knock off Bethesda-Chevy Chase. The Barons entered the game undefeated and ranked second, and they had yet to give up a goal. Rockville graduated roughly half of the team that advanced to last season's Maryland 1A region semifinals.
But Rockville hardly seemed intimidated. The Barons took a 1-0 lead into the second half, but Flores rallied the Rams by scoring consecutive goals to go up 2-1 with roughly 20 minutes remaining. Down a man, Rockville kept the pressure on, leading to Goycochea's two goals.
After losing consecutive games in the final minutes, Magruder rallied for a pair of goals in the final two minutes to knock off Gaithersburg, 3-2, on Friday.
Last week, the Colonels (7-2) gave up the go-ahead goal against Churchill with less than five minutes remaining and yielded the game-winner to Whitman in the final minute of overtime.
However, the Colonels were able to pull off a little late-game magic of their own against Gaithersburg. Justin Lee scored first to even the score, and Michael Lansing tallied the game-winner in the final seconds.
The victory was particularly critical considering Magruder's schedule. It hosts No. 7 Walter Johnson today, plays at Wootton (5-1 after beating Churchill and Whitman) on Tuesday and finishes up with No. 4 Watkins Mill, Kennedy and defending state champion Sherwood.
"That was a very important win for us," Magruder Coach Scott Alexander said. "Coming back in the last two minutes like that shows my kids aren't going to give up."