Towson Generals set for Counties after 2-1 triumph over Perry Hall, Jason Hernandez hailed game-winning hero.

Jason Hernandez scores the winner

Jason Hernandez scores the winner

Stats, Analysis, Match Summary, Events, Photos  (courtesy of the Villano brothers), and Interviews.

The Towson Generals have poached the Perry Hall Gators following a 2-1 victory on Towson grounds. The game had been vital for the Generals as it was not only the final game of the season but a must-win to send them to County Championships. This meant that anything other than a win would see the seniors on the Varsity squad no longer able to play high school soccer, making it a “last dance” scenario. Tensions were high given what was at risk and the fact that the match was to be played 8 days prior, before being canceled due to weather just 2 hours before the scheduled kick-off.

Despite the delay, the Generals did not let this get between them and their prospects for County Championships and scored the opening in the second half. Perry would equalize a few minutes later and regulation time ended in a draw. However, just 37 seconds into overtime, Senior midfielder Jason Hernandez caught the defenders off guard after reaching a loose ball in the away side’s box and with just one touch, would guarantee the Generals a spot in the County Championships.

Generals celebrate the overtime goal and victory

Following the victory, the Senior players were walked down the pitch by their families, surrounded by their Junior teammates who gave them ovations for their service on the Towson Generals soccer team. The commentator stated all the Players’ names, loved ones, favorite moments on the team, and aspirations. Despite this being their final seasonal high school game, the Seniors still have counties to look forward to, having to play Delaney on Towson grounds this Tuesday.

Towson seniors pose with their families following the victory

Match Summary and Analysis

First half (0-0)

The game kicked off on Thursday at 3:55; the Generals were playing a 4-5-1 formation which put reliance on the midfield and defense to hold up against Perry for the first half to wear them out. Towson would begin with the ball and immediately push up the right wing in an attack that was halted by a Perry defender; a dangerous counter-attack would ensue that would end with a Perry defender skying the ball into the far post of the football goal. Perry would maintain the majority of possession in Towson’s defensive third but could not manage to open up to take a shot given the intense pressure from the defense. The Generals were making many chances, attacking mainly from the wing and profiting from multiple corners, although shots were either being deflected or completely mistimed; Towson was surely showing potential in their ability.

In the 31st minute, Towson finally managed to break through the wing into the box in a real chance that was mistimed and went in the side of Perry’s net. Just 6 minutes later, another chance would arrive, with a loose ball hitting the Perry crossbar that was met with a rebound that went wide of the target. In that same play, the ball would be cleared to the left side of the Gator’s third and was met by Jason Hernandez who attempted to cut in, but was intercepted by a Perry Hall defender. In an attempt to regain possession, Jason slide-tackled the defender, but it bounced back to another Perry player who was being ruthless in his play that ended with Towson’s Zach Hochrein injured after being tackled cleat first on his foot. The last 2 minutes in the first half of regulation saw intense action, with 2 Towson attacks. One was initiated by Jason Hernandez from a half-court cross to Perry Hall’s half, but the receiver was stopped after a 5-yard run; the sidelines commended the midfielder for this play. Perry had only taken one shot in the 1st minute, but a foul from the 30-yard line saw the ball barrel toward goalkeeper Parker Fong, who tipped the ball over the bar. The first half was over and the score remained level.

Second half (1-1)

The Gators seemed frustrated during the break, and despite having been aggressive the entire first half, began the second half with even more aggression. Their efforts are instantly halted by Ben Jahries, who was only getting better as time ticked. Ben was having a remarkable game; he was not allowing anyone past him and seemed to be everywhere at once. Jenkins was also doing some serious damage in the midfield, with Perry’s coach once remarking “look how tall he is!” following a tackle, and his sideline agreed. Despite an uncertain start, the Generals began completely dominating the game; it truly seemed as if Perry had no breathing space. The General’s wingers began to push up much more, switching the formation towards a 4-3-3. This move saw immense improvement, especially on the left wing that attacked with the ball 5 times in 5 minutes. The 52nd minute began, which resulted in 2 minutes of chaos on both ends with the Generals constantly crossing the ball into Perry’s half and the Gators scrambling to clear the ball; the commotion ended with a Perry handball. In the 54th minute, a Towson cross from the wing into Perry’s box beat the defenders and keeper, but no one was there to finish the opportunity.

Just one minute later, the hosts would attack once more, and a clever break away from the defenders gave the Generals a 2-on-1 situation on goal. A prematurely attempted shot would be parried away by the Perry goalkeeper and bounced right into the feet of Jackson, who finished the opportunity and broke the ice. Towson would have a clear upper hand for the next ten minutes, continuously pressing for another goal, and in the 64th minute, another chance arose. A cross into the Gators’ box was sent straight to an attacker’s head, but unfortunately, he could not get nearly enough power on it and the ball was barely cleared away from the line.

In the 70th minute, the Gators would have their first real attack on the half; although Towson defenders regained possession several times, they could not clear it due to Perry’s pressure. Parker managed to hold his near post well, but a deflection off of an undetermined player put the ball in an awkward position that was finished off by an away attacker, bringing the sides level again. The next ten minutes felt desperate, with Perry Hall parking the bus and the Generals trying to push as much they could. The end of the second half was called, and the teams huddled together right before overtime.

Overtime (2-1)

Overtime is 10 minutes long; whichever team scores first take the win, and if no one scores, it is then considered a draw. For Towson to advance to County Championships, they needed to win. Just 37 seconds after the game restarted, a short cross into the Gators’ box was met with uncertainty as attackers and defenders fumbled for the ball. Eventually, the ball rolled right into the feet of Jason Hernandez who was positioned so well that all he had to do was kick the ball where it stood. The crowd went wild, the sideline ran onto the pitch, and the Perry Hall players slumped. Towson has once again made it to County Championships.


Shots: 13
Corners: 6
Fouls: 9
Goals: 2

Perry Hall:

Shots: 4
Corners: 1
Fouls: 4
Goals: 1


Coach Dorsey:

In the first half, I noticed that Towson was playing defensively, then gradually began countering at alarming rates. Perry seemed very scattered, but the score remained level. What do you think was done well, and what do you think needed to be done better?

“We try to defend as a team and attack with urgency. We know we counter-attack as a team; we don’t try to keep a lot of possession, but we want to make sure we defend as a team and then attack quickly. It started to take a little bit in the game for us to find ourselves and make sure we knew where we were on the field and understand that if we talk to each other and communicate, we can overwhelm the other team. I think slowly you started to see in this game the team learning with each other, kind of getting confident with each other and they started to press forward and attack as a team. That’s how we got our goals.”

The formation that you were using called on the wingers time and time again to attack from their side and play in crosses. Do you believe that this tactic will be suitable for upcoming games?

“We love it, and we’re not afraid of that being our game plan and it being known. We get it wide and we go forward at teams, we put crosses in and we just really try to get a body part on the ball and put it into the back of the net. Right there during the overtime winner, it was a cross that went in; the ball bounced around a little bit, and Jason Hernandez was able to stick his foot in and get the ball into the back of the net. Doesn’t matter how it gets in there, just matters that it crosses the line.”

Are there any notable players you would like to commend?

“Definitely Jason Hernandez for getting that ball and sticking it in. I also commend Jake for always being a leader out there for us in the middle of the field. Sebastian Aponte (Number 7) worked really hard for us in the middle. And I also want to give a shoutout to Ben Jahries, one of our seniors. He’s playing outside back for us and he was bringing a lot of energy for us and playing really smart soccer. I would commend every boy out there and everyone on the bench because they were working hard today.”

In the 64th minute, there was a clear-cut chance for Towson. What was going through your head when the referee did not whistle for a goal?

“We always talk about making the most of opportunities, and that was a missed opportunity. Luckily we were given more. We always talk about making sure we give everything on every play we do; you never know when it’s going to be your last chance. It was a tough one to see go by, but we are excited for the team to keep building.”

Following the Perry equalizer, how did your mindset change, and how did you feel the game change around you?

“We backed off of them a little bit, and we let them kind of come to us. That pressure was really tough. We needed to wake up a little; we kind of fell on the back foot. We were able to slowly get our momentum back, bring our team up, bring our team forward a little bit more, and that helped us regain control of the game.”

Following Jason Hernandez’s goal, just 37 seconds into overtime, what relief did you feel?

“Me and coach Dace, we always talk about how when games in soccer go into overtime the first goal usually happens in the first 5 to 6 minutes. And this one was crazy: I told the boys they were going to score in the first 2 minutes. They made it happen, and they got the goal. That’s how the game of soccer goes.”

In the general field, what do you think went great, and what do you think needed working on?

“Great was the ideas we had, getting it wide, defending smart. Things we could work on are our execution, putting those balls in the back of the net, taking every opportunity we get, and it will come with learning. But we are peaking at the right time, we have County Championships coming up now, and we have regionals after that. We will continue to keep building.”

Jason Hernandez:

In the first half, I noticed that you were playing defensively, then gradually began pushing forward. Perry seemed very scattered by that but the score remained level. What do you think was done well, and what do you think needed to be done better?

“We countered really good, but we need to work better on defense and communication.”

The formation you were playing in called on wingers such as yourself time and time again to attack from your sides and play in crosses. Do you think this tactic will be suitable for you in the upcoming games?

“Yeah we always want to play wide and just get the ball up the field.”

Any other players you would like to commend?

“Ben Jahries, Jake, and our goalkeeper Parker all got the job done.”

In the 64th minute, there was a clear-cut chance for Towson but the ball was cleared from the line, what was going through your head when the referee did not whistle for a goal?

“We just really need to get it in there next time, but they played good defense.”

Following the Perry equalizer, how did your mindset change, and how did you feel the game change around you?

“We tend to put our heads down when we get scored on, but we needed to win this game to get to counties so our team got us hyped and we got the job done.”

Following your late goal, what relief did you feel, and how do you plan on playing from now onwards?

“It definitely felt good, knowing that we’re going to run it back with Delaney in counties. We worked as a team and we got it done.”

Following this game, what do you think went great for you, and what do you think needed building on?

“We need to build on communicating in the back. What we did well was playing out wide, we got some chances on goal and we need to keep that up in order to win more games.”


Final scoreboard
Parker Fong in action
Alex Hochrein
Ben Jahries, who had a remarkable second-half performance
Seniors pose for a picture after the win
Josh Villano (#2) alongside goal scorer Jason Hernandez (#1) following the victory
Post-game huddle
Final goal celebrations