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Hoy leads Wootton boys to first state soccer title

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CATONSVILLE — The go-to scorer on one of the area’s most explosive offenses, Wootton’s Matt Hoy produced his share of highlight-reel scores during his senior season. The forward’s goal in the 37th minute of Friday’s Maryland 4A final against Severna Park likely won’t be remembered among the prettiest but once again, he got the job done.

Hoy’s unorthodox strike of a bouncing ball from a sharp angle provided the go-ahead tally in a 3-1 win at UMBC that delivered Wootton’s first state title. He factored in two first-half goals, lifting the No. 7 Patriots with his uncanny ability to put the ball in the net.

“I didn’t know whether I wanted to [shoot or] drive the ball across the net and hope for the deflection,” said Hoy, who finished the season with 26 goals and 10 assists. “I took a quick peek up and the goalie wasn’t respecting near post enough, so I just swung for the fences.”

Wootton (17-1-1) had not advanced to the state tournament since 1990 and never played in a final, but led by 13 seniors, the Rockville school made sure the deep postseason run ended with a title celebration. The Patriots struck early against fourth-ranked Severna Park (18-2) on a goal by senior captain Spiros Tsakos with an assist from Hoy and never trailed.

The Falcons tied the score in the 35th minute when senior Cole Strong re-directed senior Tim Nelson’s header into the net off a corner kick, but Hoy made sure the Patriots took a lead into halftime.

Hoy collected a pass from junior Matt McDonnell off the edge of the 6-yard box. Without much of an angle, he spun blasted a shot past the helpless goalkeeper high and inside the near post.

“He just turned on that ball with confidence and ripped it in,” Wootton Coach Doug Schuessler said. “When you get a strike like that, it just elevates everybody’s adrenaline, everybody’s confidence. You feel like at that point you can’t lose.”

The Patriots controlled play from there, not allowing another shot on goal until the final seconds. By then, they had a two-goal lead thanks to junior Urgy Eado’s 73rd-minute tap-in off a scramble.

“You look up [at the scoreboard] and see 3-1 with five minutes left and say, ‘Wow,’” said Hoy, a Towson lacrosse recruit. “You remember all the work we put in starting on August 12 with a group of guys that really became family. Even back then we thought we were good enough to win states, and we did it.”

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