Coach Ian Bain's Springbrook Blue Devils continued to show yesterday why they may be the most surprising boys soccer team in Montgomery County this season.
Springbrook won its fourth straight as Luis Lopez headed in a corner kick from Juan Betancourt with less than a minute remaining to give the Blue Devils a 2-1 victory over visiting Rockville.
Springbrook (4-1) controlled the game and led 1-0 before Rockville's Eric McClellan scored to tie the game with 3:30 left.
The Blue Devils, who appeared sluggish in a scoreless first half, responded to a stern halftime speech from Bain, who urged his team, which had outshot Rockvillle 6-0, to "not blow this one.
"It's not just the Kennedys and Walter Johnsons we have to worry about," said Bain. "It's Rockville, too. This is the bread and butter of our schedule. If you want to be considered winners you've got to win these games."
His players responded by scoring less than a minute into the second period. Brendan Callahan, breaking across the middle, converted a pass from Betancourt, giving the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead.
"The coach reminded us at halftime of what we had to do," said Callahan. "We started making the ball move instead of running all over the field."
Springbrook, which upset Kennedy in a more physical game earlier in the season, showed it is not a one-dimensional team as it used speed and finesse to outmaneuver the Rams (1-3-2). Rockville did not attempt a shot on goal until 13 minutes remained.
"We heard how talented Springbrook is," said Rams midfielder Tim Shockley. "So in the first half we just concentrated on trying to keep them from scoring. But after we fell behind, we knew we had to start attacking."
The Rams began pressuring Springbrook late in the game, but a number of diving saves by goalie Ed Armenta protected the Blue Devils lead until McClellan, who had been shut down by defender Pat Gannon, finally slipped free.