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St. Mary's Men's Soccer Finishes UK Training Trip Unbeaten

The end is in sight for the St. Mary’s College of Maryland men's soccer team as their England trip comes to an end.  After a long Sunday, the boys were up early to take their last full day in England by the horns.

Up before 8:00 a.m. for breakfast, the team was shortly on their way to Hopwood Hall for their final training session leading up to their final game Monday night.  The Seahawks were again put through their paces by Jack Edwards during the practice and then on their way back to the hotel to pack and shower.  Before the final match, the team made their way to Preston to visit the ground of Preston North End (an English Championship Division side) and tour the National Football Museum.  St. Mary’s was given several doses of history in the museum as it dated back to the late 1800s and wound its way up to present day.  They got a first hand account of what life used to be like in regards to the original cleats, shin guards, balls and jerseys. 

Upon leaving the museum, the Hawks traveled across town to the location of their night match, Bamber Bridge's Irongate Field.  Bamber Bridge boasts a quaint stadium but the facilities were more than adequate and the fans in attendance were treated to a very fast-paced, hard-fought match.  St. Mary's began with a different starting lineup again but stayed in their normal 4-3-3 formation.  Bamber Bridge came out in a traditional English 4-4-2, ready to play.  It was obvious early on that the Hawks were suffering the effects of not only the training that morning, but also the toll of the last nine days.  Bamber Bridge did a fantastic job of attacking quickly and exploiting the flanks and the Hawks struggled to get early pressure on the ball.

As a result, St. Mary's was always chasing the play because as soon as they managed to get close to the ball, it was gone again and off to the other side of the field.  Sophomore midfielder Chad Henry (Silver Spring, Md./Sandy Spring) proved to be a spark plug and showed relentless effort and determination for the entire match.  Senior midfielder Tim Guinan (Germantown, Md./Heights School) was industrious in midfield but more often than not had to try to cover for someone else.  Bamber Bridge was just playing a little bit faster than the Hawks could manage but the Hawks relied on their tough defense in the box to keep things even – senior defender Mike Rohrs (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s-Annapolis) as usual was a force in the back, supported by fellow central defender Justin Dohn (Wilton, Conn./Wilton) and senior goalie Rick Besore (Upper Marlboro, Md./DeMatha).  Rohrs and Dohn were doing a good job winning headers in and around the box but again the Seahawk attack was simply struggling to pick up the slack.

With about 15 minutes to go in the half, the Seahawks simply collapsed.  A loose header in the midfield was picked up by Bamber Bridge in their attacking half and with one pass they had a striker in on goal.  The St. Mary's backline had been caught pushing forward thinking that the header would be secured and were simply flatfooted and not ready for the loss in possession.  As such, the Bamber Bridge striker went in on Besore alone and neatly slotted home just inside the far post.  A few tense moments followed with Bamber Bridge going close after working a short corner and sending in some dangerous low crosses.  The Hawks gained some composure and held out though, getting to halftime down 1-0.

Another firm speech from head coach Herb Gainey during the interval and the Seahawks reappeared showing a bit more verve than was present in the first half.  Making a few substitutions to try and re-energize the team, the H

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