BERLIN- Worcester Prep’s boys’ varsity soccer team won its 6th straight Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship last week in dramatic fashion with a goal in overtime.
The Mallards overcame tremendous adversity to repeat as ESIAC champions. For starters, Worcester had to replace legendary Hall of Fame Coach Terry Underkoffler, who stepped aside last year after a remarkable career at Worcester. Underkoffler was replaced by first-year Head Coach Jon Adkins, who took over the program this season.
In addition, the Mallards also lost a 40-goal scorer and team MVP from last year along with 12 total seniors who dominated playing time on last year’s championship team.
The Mallards finished the regular season with a pedestrian 6-5-3 record, but put it together when it counted in the ESIAC playoffs with a pair of overtime wins. During the stretch run, Worcester went on a seven-game non-losing streak including five wins and two ties. The Mallards played three overtime games in the last week of the season alone. It was a theme that carried over into the ESIAC playoffs and Worcester was up to the task.
Last Wednesday, the Worcester boys beat Delmarva Christian, 2-1, in the ESIAC semifinals on the road. After a scoreless first half, Max Taylor scored a breakaway goal to put the Mallards on the board in the second half. However, Delmarva Christian tied it, sending the game into overtime. In the overtime, Ryan Cronin scored for Worcester, sending the Mallards into the conference championship game on Friday against Salisbury School.
Worcester and Salisbury School split two regular season matchups, so something had to give in the title game. The two teams were tied at 0-0 after 80 minutes of regulation. In the overtime period, Worcester’s Max Huber scored to seal the win and the conference championship for the Mallards, touching off a wild celebration on the home field.