Damascus girls soccer coach Larry Nuzzaci knows how good his team can be if the ball gets to the forwards. It took almost 100 minutes of play to make his point yesterday at Whitman when senior Katie Chiles and sophomore Lauren Garcia made it loud and clear.
Midfielder Chiles found Garcia with four minutes left in the second sudden-death overtime, delivering a bending ball across the mouth of the penalty box that the forward left-footed into the back of the net to give Damascus a 2-1 win.
Whitman junior goalkeeper Sarah Tidman dived for the cross but was not able to make the play on the soggy field. With the win, Damascus improves to 4-2 overall, 3-1 in Montgomery County Division II play. The Vikings fell to 3-6, 2-2.
"We can be dangerous if we get balls to the forward," Nuzzaci said. "We were fortunate to do that enough today to get the win."
All six losses by Whitman have been by a 2-1 score.
Whitman dominated the game, outshooting Damascus 21-11. In the second half and the two overtime periods, that margin was 12-3.
However, Garcia broke through for Damascus for her third goal -- and first game-winner -- of the season in the second overtime.
"I thought the goalkeeper was going to get it," said Garcia, who plays for the U-16 Division II MSE United. "I just ran onto it and kicked it."
Whitman almost ended the game with 1 minute 58 seconds remaining in the first overtime. Junior sweeper Tina Swiek took a direct kick from 25 yards and struck a high ball toward the Damascus net.
"The ball was a bullet and it was wet," said Stacie Bladen, Damascus's freshman goalkeeper. "My hands barely got it and I got back and bounced on it."
In the first half, Damascus senior forward Adelina Abreu scored her seventh goal of the season off an assist from sophomore center midfielder Melissa Penney eight minutes into the game. Whitman tied the score with 15 minutes remaining on a goal by sophomore midfielder Jesse McDonald, her eighth of the season, off a pass from junior midfielder Vicky Henry.
"We controlled the ball and we controlled the game," Whitman Coach Jeff Kelly said. "We knew that a fast break was their only hope."
Damascus 2, Whitman 1 (2OT)
Damascus (4-2, 3-1) 1 0 0 1 2
Whitman (3-6, 2-2) 1 0 0 0 1
GOALS: Damascus -- Abreu, 8th, Garcia, 96th; Whitman -- McDonald, 25th.
ASSISTS: Damascus -- Penney, Chiles; Whitman -- Henry. SHOTS: Damascus -- 11; Whitman -- 21.
SAVES: Damascus -- Bladen, 11; Whitman -- Tidman, 6.