Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

November 26, 2012

Allegany’s record season ends with area title

CUMBERLAND — The Allegany Campers made history, in more ways than one, and left no doubt about it in the end.

City champions. League champions. And today, officially, unanimous Cumberland Times-News Area champions.

Coach Stephen Cavallo’s team set single-season school records for wins, goals scored, fewest goals allowed and shutouts. The Campers posted the first unbeaten regular-season in the program’s history at 13-0-1. Not only did they not lose a regular-season game, they never trailed in one.

Allegany beat Smithsburg 2-1 in the final seconds and Northern, 1-0 in overtime to reach the West Region championship game, which was the only game the Campers trailed in all season. The game with Brunswick ended tied 1-1 through two overtimes. Brunswick won in sudden death penalty kicks, and went on to win the state championship.

“We entered this season with state title aspirations. We had a very young squad last year and needed to grow physically but also mentally,’’ Cavallo said. “We had a core group of returning players and this season was all about creating an identity for ourselves and our brand of soccer.

“Our goals included winning the City and AMAC. However, we had bigger goals that we unfortunately fell short on. Nonetheless, the boys can take great pride in being part of the best team in Allegany soccer history.”

The Campers finished 15-1-1 overall, 7-0 in the AMAC and 4-0 in the City, scoring 71 goals and allowing only five along the way. The area championship snapped Mountain Ridge’s 10-year grip on the No. 1 ranking.

Cavallo pointed to two key road games in mid-October as key points in the season. The Campers beat Bishop Walsh on Oct. 13 and two days later won at Mountain Ridge, both games by 3-0.

“Those two results really cemented in our heads that we were true contenders this year,’’ said Cavallo.

“We had great depth in the attack and multiple players that could win us games and when the team needed a goal someone stepped up and found it for us.”

Dakota Bierman led the way and finished fourth in the area in scoring with 17 goals, seven assists and a 2.41 average. Corey Knipple was 10th with nine goals, 10 assists and a 1.65 average, and Derek Fuller 13th with seven goals, six assists and a 1.18 average. Brooke Knieriem (six goals), Blake Geatz (five goals) and Jake Bartlett (5 goals) were also among 15 players who scored.

The defense and goalkeeper Nate Condor had 12 shutouts in 17 games, including eight straight at one point. No opponent scored more than one goal. In seven October games, the Campers outscored their opponents 36-1.

“We were a team that loved to play defense,” Cavallo said. “Nate (Condor) was beyond excellent in goal all season. The senior captains in the center of the defense (Brooke Knieriem, Ben Levitas) were true leaders all season. But it was more than that. It takes 11 players to play good defense and everyone bought into the defense-first mentality. They should be proud of their defensive efforts this season. Five goals allowed and 12 shutouts in 17 games ... those stats would be fantastic in any league in the world.”

Condor made 78 saves and led the area in save percentage at .939.

Cavallo, a native of Charlotte, N.C., played soccer at Frostburg and led Allegany to the area title in his second season as head coach. In his two seasons, the Campers are 21-7-3 overall and 12-2-1 in the AMAC.

“I am very proud of the boys and the way they went about the season,’’ he said. “They worked extremely hard and put together some great performances. However, we fell short of our ultimate goal.

“We have to get better and think during the offseason that we still have something to prove — and that is that we can win a state championship. I hope that sticks with them and we’re not thinking the job is done because we had one really good season.”

The area championship trophy, sponsored by J-R’s Custom Screenprinting and Embroidery of Frostburg, will be presented at the Dapper Dan Awards Banquet in January.

Mike Mathews is a Cumberland Times-News writer. Write to him at mmathews@times-news.com

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