Ocean City Today

Prep Coach Underkoffler earns 500th career victory

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Oct 12, 2017
Coach Terry Underkoffler

(Oct. 13, 2017) Worcester Prep freshman Vincent Petrera scored two goals in the first half of Monday’s soccer game against the Holly Grove Eagles in Westover, and the Mallards held on to win their final match of the regular season, 2-0.

“We played pretty disciplined. They’re probably the best skilled Holly Grove team we’ve played in years and when you play a team like that you’ve got to be very disciplined defensively,” Prep Coach Terry Underkoffler said. “They had their assignments, they maintained balance and composure as a team. They did well for 80 minutes. It was a good, complete defensive game.”

Senior captain Tucker Brown set up the first goal with a through ball to Petrera. Senior captain Brenner Maull chipped the ball over the top of the Holly Grove defense and Petrera hit a one-time shot to the corner for the second goal.

Prep junior goalie Cooper Richins stopped 10 Holly Grove shots.

“It was a complete win. Everybody did their jobs,” Underkoffler said. “It was an outstanding effort.”

The victory not only boosted the Mallards’ overall record to 10-1-1, but it secured them the regular-season Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference title. Most importantly, it was also Underkoffler’s 500th career win.

“It’s exciting for a lot of reasons,” he said. “I told the guys it was great because it was a game of meaning; it won the league. That was the neat thing.”

It was his 320th win coaching boys’ soccer. Underkoffler started coaching high school varsity soccer in 1984. He has coached both boys and girls over the years. This is his sixth season leading the Prep boys’ squad.

Five hundred wins is a big accomplishment, Underkoffler said.

“It’s more of a longevity thing than anything,” he said. “As a coach, you want to be successful. You want them to play good, attractive soccer and enjoy doing it.”

Underkoffler also said coaches develop a bond with their players.

“It’s almost a family-like atmosphere. Over the years you have special teams and players and it’s nice to keep in touch with them,” he said. “You all have a common goal and you’re playing for each other. It’s like a family. That’s why I still enjoy it.

“It’s like an art project. You start with clay and then you mold it into something,” he added.

Worcester won the regular-season ESIAC title and now the Mallards hope to bring home the tournament championship trophy. They will host the ESIAC semifinal round on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Berlin.

“We look organized, strong. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely,” Underkoffler said. “You’re always trying to do things better. We’re fine-tuning defending, seeing what we need to clean up and looking at set plays to see if we can do anything better.”

Once the Mallards win the ball, transitioning from defending to attacking will be the key to success during the ESIAC tournament, Underkoffler said.

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