Landon ended DeMatha’s 64-match regular season winning with a stunning 1-0 win over the Stags Monday, and the team was still feeling the aftershock Wednesday, according to senior Zach Fingerhut. Although the season is just a week old, the win revealed to Landon what it could not see during preseason preparation; Its depth, how it would respond with its backup goalkeeper, and if it could pull a signature win against one of the areas top-flight soccer schools.
“We wanted to try and make a statement to rest of the area,” Fingerhut said.
Fingerhut, who is committed to Wake Forest, converted the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute off a penalty kick that resulted from a handball call. That was the culmination of a contest in which DeMatha controlled possession for most of the game and received little pressure from the Bears.
But Landon’s defense was able to weather several pushes by DeMatha, staying compact and keeping numbers behind the ball. Landon had earned a quality win three days earlier, also taking down previously No. 6 Sidwell Friends, 3-1, on Friday. That road win also came with a price, as starting goalkeeper Walt Spak slammed his head on the turf and was showing concussion like symptoms following the game. Landon Coach Bill Reed went with backup keeper Harry Laird against DeMatha.
“That was a little unnerving,” Reed said of the injury and the throwing Laird out for his first appearance of the season against the Stags. “Harry was fantastic. He just got to everything.”
Reed said it was the “biggest win” his team has had in 15 years at the school, based on DeMatha’s current No. 1 national ranking with NSCAA.
Fingerhut has been one of the more productive players in the area so far this season. He has scored six goals and added two assists. He opened the season with three goals against McNamara — and added his second multi-goal game Friday in the win over Sidwell. But none loomed larger than his strike Monday against the Stags, with the clock running low. He scored 13 goals in nine games last season, earning honorable mention All-Met honors and helping Landon win the IAC. Monday’s win was another accomplishment, he said, but won’t define the entire 2013 campaign for the Bears.
“It was definitely our mentality going into the game. Even carrying some momentum with two wins before that game,” Fingerhut said. “Our game mentality was that we wanted to win one of these huge games. We were just carrying so much in terms of pressure, on our result.”
After opening the season with quality wins over Good Counsel and Richard Montgomery, Reservoir snuck by River Hill Tuesday after David Harris scored 73 seconds into overtime . . . the IAC picked up another impressive win against a top area team Tuesday, as Georgetown Prep beat Gonzaga, 3-1, its second win over a WCAC school this season (St. John’s) . . . St. Alban’s Nick Notaro scored three goals in the first two wins of the season over Collegiate and Woodberry Forest last week. . . . Walter Johnson has scored five goals in its first two wins over High Point and Northwood, but it has also given quality time to goalkeepers Ben Meyers and Wuseok Choi, who have combined for 13 saves already this season.
1. DeMatha (2-1) LW: 1
2. Marriotts Ridge (2-0) LW: 3
3. Gonzaga (2-1) LW: 2
4. Reservoir (3-0) LW: 4
5. St. Albans (2-0) LW: 5
6. Walter Johnson (2-0) LW: NR
7. Landon (3-0) LW: NR
8. Paul VI Catholic (1-0) LW: 8
9. Severna Park (1-0-1) LW: 9
10. Georgetown Prep (2-0) LW: NR