The Eastern Tech boys soccer team remained unbeaten (11-0) after playing three games last week, but it was a very near thing.
The Mavericks survived a grueling, physical battle against visiting Sparrows Point on Oct 1, winning 1-0 on a penalty kick by Dillon Nesteruk with about 12 minutes remaining.
The degree of difficulty was ratcheted up even higher for the Mavericks, as they played the last 25 minutes a man down after being assessed a red card when the officials ruled an Eastern Tech player had elbowed a Pointer player in the head.
Sparrows Point applied nearly constant pressure on the Eastern Tech goal during that period, but the Maverick defense didn’t falter.
The game was closely contested from the start. In addition to the red card, around 10 yellow cards were handed out by the officials during the game. Play was repeatedly interrupted by a ref’s whistle.
After Nesteruk was ruled to have been taken down inside the box — a ruling disputed by the Sparrows Point coaching staff — he put his shot into the left side as the Pointer goalkeeper dove to the right.
Eastern Tech had another close game on Thursday, edging visiting Dulaney 2-1, before a relative “breather” on Monday with a 5-0 win at Franklin.
With games remaining at Perry Hall on Thursday and at Towson on Oct. 15, the Mavericks are likely one win away from clinching a spot in the Baltimore County championship game for the third consecutive season, looking to win their third straight county title.
Hereford and Towson each have one loss in the division. Eastern Tech has already beaten Hereford.
The top two teams in the eight-team Division I will play for the county title.
Sparrows Point, with four division losses, is out of the running for s spot in the championship game. But the Pointers and the Mavericks are all-but-certain to face each other in the Class 2A North region playoffs.