Juniors Marcus Brooks and Joseph Dellinger gave Eleanor Roosevelt's boys' soccer team reason to sing yesterday after the Raiders' 5-4 victory over Bowie in penalty kicks in a Maryland 4A South Region semifinal.
Brooks converted the Raiders' final kick and Dellinger, diving off his line in goal, forced a miss on Bowie's next shot. Immediately after the shot rolled wide left, the Raiders threw their jerseys into a pile, danced around them and collectively sang "My Little Buttercup" under the lights at High Point.
"It's something the seniors started last year, I don't know where it came from," said Roosevelt junior Kyle Yancey, who scored the tying goal with six minutes remaining. "It feels good to get the win, though."
Roosevelt (12-2) will play at High Point, which eliminated Oxon Hill earlier yesterday, in the regional final on Thursday in Beltsville at 7 p.m. The teams did not meet in the regular season.
"We don't know them and they don't know us," Roosevelt Coach George Kallas said. "One-on-one, they are very tough to beat. If we don't stop them individually, we're going to be in some trouble."
High Point beat Oxon Hill, 1-0, after outshooting the Clippers 23-3 and taking 10 corner kicks to Oxon Hill's five. Senior midfielder Jerry Thay scored the lone goal for High Point (12-1) in the 32nd minute.
Senior goalkeeper John Clay made 14 saves to keep the game close for Oxon Hill, which finished 6-4-1.
"We didn't execute the way we wanted to and we played selfishly," Thay said. "We're a team that likes to spread the ball out and make the other team run, but today we didn't do that. But we've got two days to work on it and hopefully it will get better."
"They've got a super team, but I'm blessed that I've got 24 guys who can give us good time," Kallas said. "We got some of our best pushes from when we put our subs in."
Roosevelt's depth was negated, however, after the game went into penalty kicks. Both teams made their first shots, but missed their second. Junior Emerson Smith, Yancey and freshman Greg Howard each made their shots for Roosevelt, and seniors David Tudja, William Arvin and Patrick Brennan countered for Bowie (7-6-2). But after Brooks made his shot for the Raiders, Dellinger was able to influence the final shot just enough to make it miss.
"Usually, before the shot, I just guess which way he's going to go, and I guess I got in his head just enough to make him miss," Dellinger said. "When you've got two good teams like that, games like this are going to happen."