MPSSAA 4A Soccer State Championships
It required overtime, but Walter Johnson's girls soccer team won the 4A state title 3-2 over Perry Hall. It completed a 4A sweep for the Wildcats, whose boys team won the state championship earlier in the evening.
Ryleigh Fachler of Perry Hall had the first scoring opportunity of the game when her shot from outside the box almost floated past Walter Johnson goalkeeper Ally Holden.
Walter Johnson scored with 32:08 left in the first half when Cammie Murtha sped down the left flank and crossed it to CJ Maloney, who buried the ball in the back of the net.
Perry Hall responded with 18:30 left in first half when Fachler fired one past Holden. The assist on Fachler's goal went to Summer Meisel.
The Wildcats' same combination of Murtha and Maloney led to the team's second goal. Murtha this time sent an excellent through ball that put Maloney in on goal, who slotted it past Perry Hall goalie Ally Small.
Fachler got her second of the game with 1:30 left in the first half when Kara Dietrich ran past a Walter Johnson defender and centered it to Fachler, who was unmarked in the middle. Fachler did the rest to make it 2-2 at halftime.
The first great chance of the second half came after a scramble in the Walter Johnson box. Meisel was finally able to get a shot off, but she skied it over the bar.
Perry Hall was at it against with 40 minutes left in the game when Fachler won a 50-50 ball on a fast break, but Holden came off her line and effectively smothered the ball.
Walter Johnson's best chance in the second half came with 3:30 left when Murtha burst behind the Perry Hall defense and forced small to come out for the ball. Small deflected it and it bounced to Anya Ditchek, whose volley went over the crossbar.
Murtha had a chance to win it in overtime for Walter Johnson when she got past two defenders and got around Small, but her effort hit the post. She took her second chance in overtime to win it for Walter Johnson, recovering from a collision with Small and another Perry Hall defender that saw the ball pop out. From the ground, Murtha was able to toe poke the ball into the Perry Hall goal.
For Walter Johnson, it's the program's first state championship.
Walter Johnson rolled to its first state title since 2006 by beating Bel Air 4-0.
The first great chance of the game came for Walter Johnson early in the first half. Bel Air's goalie Cameron Riley came to claim a cross but missed it. The ball fell to Wildcats forward Zion Friday, who passed it to Aldo Ruiz who fired a goal-bound shot, which was frantically cleared off the line by Bel Air defender Noah Rusinko.
There was nothing Riley could do about Ruiz's goal with 11:30 left in the first half. Ruiz ripped one from outside the box into the bottom corner, which Riley couldn't reach as he lunged to his right.
Walter Johnson punctuated its dominant first half when Hahn played Friday though on a long ball. Friday was able to get away from his defenders, but his left footed shot went wide of the target.
The first great chance of the second half fell to Friday after Michael Blakeslee lofted a long ball forward which Friday got to. As he did in the first half, he got away from Bel Air's defenders, but this time his shot went over the crossbar.
Bel Air worked itself into the game and got some excellent chances in the second half, the majority of which fell to the team's top scorer, Ryan Albright. Albright hit the post from inside the box, then curled in two beautiful free kicks, both of which hit the crossbar.
Gray Harper also drew a diving save from Walt Johnson goalkeeper David Goodstein when he attempted a volley from outside the box. Vince Rose pulled away from the Walter Johnson defense, but his header went over the bar.
For all of Bel Air's dominance in the second half though, they couldn't find the back of the net and Friday made them pay. The forward went on a long run from near the halfway line, beat a couple Bobcat defenders before slotting the ball past Riley to put the game out of reach.
Max Yodice added the Wildcats' third goal with 4:35 left in the game, while Bobby Riffle scored the final goal of the game with 2:38 left.
For Walter Johnson, it is the school's fourth state title in boys soccer.
|November 18th, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|