The highly-popular international sport, known as football in international circles, is played through all four seasons. Most international leagues take a few weeks off following major championships just to reset for the next season.
In a way, Brunswick High School’s boys and girls soccer programs, like the rest of the soccer programs in Frederick County Public Schools, has felt that day lately. Since there were no fall sports last year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, FCPS decided to have fall sports played in late-winter, early-spring. So BHS’s boys and girls soccer teams had a short season, took a few months off, then resumed with practices in early August.
Shawn Baker, who is BHS’s boys varsity soccer coach, agrees this has been an usual set of circumstances, but the Railroaders are making the most of it. The Railroaders, through last Tuesday’s (Sept. 21) 4-2 win over Smithsburg, are 4-1.
“Obviously, we’ve never had a season like this before, where we have a season four months before the regular season,” Baker said. “A couple seniors did not play season, because of COVID and job obligations, so this gave some of the sophomores, now juniors, to take a starting role and gain some experience. It’s really helped us to have a good start this fall.”
Brunswick suffered a loss to Liberty last week, but the Railroaders have bounced back and are playing better.
“We gave up two goals in the last three minutes of the first half,” Baker said of the loss to Liberty. “We played better at the start of the second half. We had our chances, but Liberty just dominated the first 40 minutes of the match.”
Against Smithsburg, Brunswick gave up a goal early in the match, but bounced back when Ryan Domathoti took a pass from Ricky Cicmanec and scored a goal to tie the match at 1 with 26 minutes, 27 seconds to go in the first half. Eleven minutes later, Will Burton scored on an assist from Alex Miranda, giving the Railroaders a 2-1 lead a halftime.
A pair of quick goals to start the second half gave Brunswick the momentum it would need to win the match. Noah Paschalides scored a goal at the 27:02 mark. Logan Malone converted a penalty kick.
Following the match, Baker said Brunswick did not play as well as it’s capable of playing and can do better. There were a few mental lapses.
“It’s all about consistency,” Baker said. “Five minutes we look great, five minutes, it looks like we’re just chasing the game. We’re still looking to put together a full 80 minutes.”
In a recent win over North Hagerstown, Baker said the Railroaders were able to put together a full 80 minutes. “We moved the ball around a lot,” he said. “Defensively, we played really well.”
Baker noted last Tuesday’s win over Smithsburg was Brunswick’s first Central Maryland Conference divisional win. “That’s always pretty good to get that first conference win,” he said. “But there are still some areas we can be better in, kind of re-focus.”
Jackson Acker and Kamron Harris each had an assist for Brunswick against Smithsburg. Finn McGannon had eight saves.
BHS girls varsity soccer team, coached by Dara Demich, had a big, 6-1 win at Smithsburg on Tuesday, Sept. 21.
The Railroaders fell behind, 1-0, but responded with six straight scores for the win. Ryley Backer had two goals for Brunswick. Hannah Estep, Atiya Jackson, Carina Morley and Izzie Marra each had one goal.
Jackson had two assists. Anna Gibson and Jada Powell each had one. Brunswick was 4-2 as of Tuesday, Sept. 21.