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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Bays find intensity, offense to extend streak

By Lem Satterfield

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Goalkeeper Andrew Harris was not used to being in this position.

Just 15 minutes into Sunday's game against NJSA, his under-17/18 Baltimore Bays Chelsea trailed 2-0 against the fifth place squad in East Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Division.

On the line was the Bays unbeaten streak of 19 games, in addition to the team's collective sense of pride.

"We're really never thinking about the streak when we're playing, but we're always thinking about what we stand for as a club and that's what we've always stood for, which is that we never go down without a fight," said Harris, who is headed for Wake Forest.

"So, I guess, in that game on Sunday, and in all of our games in general, we play with that mentality that we're the best out there, and that everyone is going to give us their best game."

The Bays did the same, scoring the next four goals on the way to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory that improved its division-leading mark to 9-0-1 and its overall record to 19-4-2.

Michael Gamble, Tanner Vosvick, Romillio Hernandez and Ishmaiah Calwrie scored for the Bays.

Their contributions and the squad's general intensity was the difference for the Bays, whose unbeaten streak improved to 18-0-2 with 14 shutouts.

"I give our team a tremendous amount of credit for coming back the way that we did, but it's more about the mentality that we bring to the game," said Harris, a graduate of Gilman School in Baltimore, which was runner-up in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.

"It's the mindset that has been with most of us. This just showed that we're a team with a lot of offensive firepower, and when we're clicking on all cylinders, we can be extremely dangerous."

Forwards Yaw Aminkwa leads the Bays with 10 goals followed by Gamble with nine and six each from Calwrie, Richard Greensfelder, Malcolm Harris and Christian Morales.

"We ask every player to be defensively responsible. We like to press the game high up the field. Offensively, we try to play a good, passing style," said coach Anthony Adams. "But want to be able to score goals a number of different ways, whether it’s a build up, quick counter, free kick, etc. This makes us unpredictable for the opposition as exemplified with 14 different goal scorers so far this year."

With games remaining against FC Delco and PA Classics, the Bays already have secured the top spot in the Mid-Atlantic Division.

"We're pushing to keep momentum and maintain a top eight seed for the 32-team playoff in Dallas," said Adams, referring to the June 24-29 tournament in Frisco, Texas.

The winners of each of the eight groups from Frisco will qualify for the final eight in Houston in mid-July.