Paint Branch Surges by Blue Devils 3-0

Allan Djebalo, Staff Writer

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On a surprisingly warm Saturday morning in Burtonsville, the Paint Branch boys’ varsity soccer team defeated Springbrook 3-0 with great defense and a sneaky scoring attack.

Due to the weather, the game was  pushed from Thursday to Saturday, so coming off of a Friday win against Northwood, the Panthers found themselves playing a back-to-back versus their rival Springbrook. Coming into the game the Blue Devils were 0-5 and desperate for a win. Paint Branch senior Varen Gupta knows what it’s like to play Springbrook no matter what their record is. “There was a lot of pressure heading into the game, knowing that the other team came into the game with their heads up high,” said Gupta. “We as a team wanted to be the ones walking away with that same attitude.”

The game started off with a bang. A pass intended for Springbrook’s goalie was intercepted by senior Bradley Muma, who scored in the first minute of the match. The first half was full of conservative play. But the second half would turn up.

At the 63’ minute mark, Panther senior Sidiki Traore saw a rare opportunity for a one on one with Springbrook’s goalie, but missed his shot wide left. Three minutes later Paint Branch was awarded a penalty kick. Junior Brian Noutchang came through in the clutch with a strike hitting the net.

Paint Branch kept up the pace as the offense was still attacking, but defender Yannick Deumeni Ngaleu made key defensive stops for the Blue Devils. Good defense for the Blue Devils as their goalkeeper stopped a  Muma strike just moments after the goal. However, the Panthers offense was too much to handle, and at the 69’ minute mark Bradley scored on a header with a pass delivered from junior Brian Noutchang.

As the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard read 3-0. Springbrook defender Zain Nasralla noted the team played well but just didn’t come out with the win. Panthers left back senior Leopoldo Medina talked about what his coach told the team at halftime. He explained, “He saw us getting tired during the first half. We were only up one, and we’ve got to make sure that we want this. The game can turn around at any moment.” It was a competitive game that was full of action and excitement as the rivals faced off. The Panthers moved to 4-3-1 while the Blue Devils remained winless at 0-5.

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Paint Branch Surges by Blue Devils 3-0