MPSSAA Soccer State Finals Day 3

2A Boys


Middletown clinched the MPSSAA Boys Soccer 2A state championship by scoring three goals in quick succession early in the second half en route to a 4-0 win. The Knights finish the season 14-2-3.

Middletown dictated proceedings in the first half, not allowing La Plata to get a shot off. The Knights' first good scoring opportunity came after 13 minutes of play when midfielder Clay Smith sent a curling effort far post from outside the box, which forced La Plata goalie Ben Lebarron to make a save.

Middletown threatened to score right before halftime, when Grant Brandenburg had a strong shot go just wide of the post with under three minutes in the first half.

Middletown took complete control of the game at the beginning of the second half. It began with 35:24 left in the second half when Smith beautifully chipped the ball in far post from just inside the right side of the box.

Smith played a big role in doubling the Knights' lead three minutes later when he powered down the right side of the field past a La Plata defender. He got to the end line before centering the ball, where Josh Woozley slotted it into the net.

The third goal came off a corner kick when Evan Joseph jumped the highest to connect with the delivery provided by Jonathan Tatem. It was scored with 31:53 left in the game.

Middletown got their fourth, and Smith scored his second, with 24:07 left in the second half. Brandenburg centered the ball from the left of the box, and Smith darted into the middle and fired a left footed shot into the net.

With Oakdale winning the boys 3A championship on Thursday, Middletown's win brought Frederick County's boys soccer state championship total in 2015 to two.

4A Girls


Broadneck won their first MPSSAA state championship in dramatic fashion, topping Leonardtown 1-0 in overtime. The win caps off a banner year for the Bruins, who finish the year with a 16-0-3 overall record.

"Personally, it feels great. I'm happy for my assistant coaches who have done a great job," head coach John Camm said. "I'm extremely happy for the players. It's not just for these kids. It's also for the kids who've graduated and put us where we are today."

Bri Harris scored the winning goal for Broadneck in overtime. Leonardtown had a free kick and moved players forward to try to score the goal. Broadneck got the ball and passed it to Harris, who was able to muscle past a Leonardtown defender. Harris then slid the ball past Leonardtown's goalie Alyssa Joel.

"This whole season was just a dream come true, for me anyway," Harris said. "I was able to rely on every single player on the field. I can't say I've done that in any other sport. But this team is so unique and so different."

It was an evenly played first half. Neither Broadneck nor Leonardtown could find a way to score, despite the end to end action. Both teams were able to create a multitude of chances early in the first half, but couldn't score.

Broadneck had the first real chance in the second half when Maddie Bragaw unleashed a shot from outside the box, but Joel got in front of it and made the save.

Broadneck was close once again on a corner kick. The ball was headed towards the corner of the goal, forcing a Leonardtown defender to have to clear it off the line.

Despite Broadneck dominating possession, neither team could break through in the second half, leading to overtime.

The first good chance of overtime went to Leonardtown, when Megan Baker shot a ball from outside the box that just went over the crossbar. Bragaw had a similar effort for Broadneck, but Joel was able to catch her shot. That set the stage for Harris to score her historic goal.

Broadneck was boosted by a tweet earlier in the week from USWNT great Abby Wambach. Wambach had heard about how the Bruins were trying to win their first MPSSAA state championship, so she contacted Broadneck and to let wish them luck.

"It was great to think that somebody who I've wanted to be like my entire life, who didn't know who we are, acknowledge our success," said Harris. "It's insane."

1A Boys


North Carroll won their second 1A boys soccer state championship in three years by topping Crisfield 3-1. The Panthers finished the 2015 season 14-3.

North Carroll has had to play this season with a lot of uncertainty surrounding the school- there is a vote happening soon to decide if North Carroll will stay open next year, or if the school will be closed.

"It's fabulous. It's kind of bittersweet," head coach Andrew Harrell said. "It's sweet in that the hard work that we have done has paid off. It's bitter in the fact that we don't know what is going to happen next year with the school."

North Carroll got the first shot on goal when Michael Ros headed the ball towards the goal off a long throw in, but Crisfield goalkeeper Charlie Elliott was able to catch it.

There was nothing Elliott could do about North Carroll's opening goal. Cameron Ament broke free from a defender and got to the byline. Ament looked up and passed it to the middle of the box where Austin Cooper hammered it into the net.

"It's definitely what we needed to do," Cooper said. "We needed to come out and put one away quick so we could set the tempo of the game and we did just that."

It was a dominant first half for North Carroll, who did not allow Crisfield to take a single shot.

The Panthers almost made it 2-0 within 10 seconds of the second half starting. Ament stripped the ball from a Crisfield player before crossing it to Cooper, who was streaking into the box but couldn't connect with the pass.

North Carroll piled on the pressure in the opening minutes of the second half, and over the span of three minutes, the Panthers had three different occasions when Cooper got behind the Crisfield defense. Crisfield was kept in the game by Elliott, who in that span saved two shots taken by Cooper and won a 50-50 challenge with Cooper that kept the forward from getting a shot off.

Crisfield worked their way into the game though, and after North Carroll took a poor corner kick, the Crabbers broke up field with Dallas Dowden taking the ball and having plenty of support. Dowden tried to work the ball to striker Osvaldo Zetina, but Panther goalie Cameron Keith came off his line splendidly to break up the attack. With Keith off his line, Crisfield fired a speculative shot, but Keith got back to save it.

North Carroll made it 2-0 with Ament ran past a couple Crabber defenders before being taken down in the box, drawing a penalty kick. Ament stepped up to take the kick and buried it to Elliott's left.

Crisfield refused to go away though. Bruce Emely scored on a curling a free kick into the corner of the net making it 2-1 with 7:15 remaining.

North Carroll finished off the game with 3:51 remaining when Michael Ros headed the ball past a diving Elliott to make it 3-1. Drew Schlossenberg got the assist.

The uncertainty surrounding North Carroll's future has been a motivating factor for the Panthers all season. will be open. It's very meaningful to them to give North Carroll a state championship in its final year of existence.

"This could very well be the last year that North Carroll is open," Ament said. "It's fantastic that people can say the last North Carroll boys soccer team was state champs. Hopefully not, but if that is the case, then we did it."

2A Girls


After losing in the state final last year, Fallston came through this season to win the final game of the season, topping Wilde Lake 1-0 in the 2A girls state championship. It's the first state title for Fallston since 2009, and the win gives the Cougars a final record of 18-1. The team allowed three goals throughout the season, recording 17 shutouts.

"I was always told that long throw in's and great defense wins championships," head coach Mark Hannahs said. "I wasn't unhappy last year because I didn't think we would make it here last year. I expected to make it this year."

The first half didn't produce many chances with both teams trying to hit their opponent on the counter attack. Wilde Lake recorded one shot, while Fallston didn't have any.

The biggest threat of the first period was created by Wilde Lake, when Sahar Zoghi lifted a cross into the box that Amy Radcliffe would have gotten on the end of had Fallston goalkeeper Katelyn Briguglio not come out to claim it.

The second half started more lively, with Wilde Lake's Lily Dunbar crossing a ball in just three minutes after the break. The cross found a teammate's head, but the shot had no power on it and was easily collected by Briguglio.

Fallston drew a penalty in the box off a corner kick with 32:43 left in the game. It was ruled that Nina Stavrakis was clipped from behind by a Wilde Lake player. Moments later, Alicyn Lose converted the penalty by shooting low and to Wilde Lake goalkeeper Jenna Hutchinson's right. It was Fallston's first shot of the game.

When the penalty was given, Lose knew it would be her job to take the kick.

"I take a lot of them in practice, and you just have to finish it," Lose said. "You don't look at the goalie. You look at where in the goal you want to put it and you do it."

The Cougars came close to doubling their advantage seven minutes later off a free kick. The ball was headed over to Callie Smith, who shot over the bar.

Fallston once again got close to scoring when Lose fired in a free kick, but it was saved by Hutchinson. That was the last chance of the game, as Fallston shut out Wilde Lake 1-0. The Cougars' defense, as it has been all season, was excellent throughout, as Wilde Lake had very few scoring chances.

It's been a big couple of days for Harford County girls soccer. The county had three different girls teams makes the state finals- Patterson Mill lost in the 1A final, while Bel Air won the 3A championship.

"Harford County should be real proud of what they've done," Hannahs said. "I think people now realize that Harford County is a great soccer bed."
November 21st, 2015By: Wick Eisenberg

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