Through the first 15 minutes of the Maryland 4A West Region final on Tuesday, No. 2 Walter Johnson proved just how efficient it can be when playing its brand of soccer.
Quick passes and an up-tempo game led to two early goals for the Wildcats in a 2-1 win over eighth-ranked Northwest to capture the region championship at Richard Montgomery in Rockville.
“The second half it was scrappy,” Wildcats senior midfielder Gerry Madden said. “If we had kept on playing the way we did in the beginning, the game would have been a lot different.”
Walter Johnson junior Mateo Arenas-Rivero struck first. In the ninth minute, he took a pass in stride from about 40 yards, breezed toward the goal and saw his low strike squeeze through the hands of the Northwest goalkeeper.
Noah Sheetz-Ziegel doubled that lead when he put away a rebound in the 14th minute for the Wildcats (16-0-1).
Northwest (11-4) fought back withAlejandro Campero’s goal in the 54th minute. It nearly found the equalizer on a breakaway in the 61st, but the Wildcats were able to hold on and advance to the state tournament. . . .
Marriotts Ridge (12-4-1) captured the 2A North region title with a 6-1 win over Loch Raven to maintain hope of a third straight state crown.
In other games around the state: third-ranked Severna Park (13-1-2) downed Leonardtown, 2-0, in the 4A East Region; Patuxent (7-8) defeated Southern, 4-3, in the 2A South Region final; Poolesville fell to South Carroll, 1-0, in the 2A West final; Bowie (14-2) defeated High Point (13-3) in penalties, 4-3, after the game ended tied at 2, to capture the 4A South title; Chopticon defeated Huntingtown, 2-0, in the 3A South; and Watkins Mill (13-2) beat Linganore (13-3) in penalties, 6-5, after a 0-0 draw in the 3A West championship.
Junior Caroline Khanna’s goal with 1 minute 34 seconds left in overtime lifted three-time defending state champion Bethesda-Chevy Chase to a 1-0 win over Churchill in the Maryland 4A West Region final.
A long diagonal ball bounced in the penalty area into a cluster of players; amid a confusing scrum for possession, the ball squirted through to the far post, where Khanna put it into the net to send the Barons to the state tournament.
The goal came after a back-and-forth game that reached overtime only after B-CC goalkeeper Angela White made a penalty kick save in the 66th minute.
The Barons (12-3-2) are seeking an unprecedented fourth consecutive state title.
The potential bad news is they may have to continue without senior midfielder Hannah Levin, who injured her knee in the scrum on the final sequence.
“I don’t even know what just happened,” Khanna said. “It’s kind of bittersweet because Hannah is a really good player. The ball came to me and I hit it and we were celebrating and I saw her [down].
“It’s kind of upsetting because she’s a big part of our team and she sacrificed herself for the team,” Khanna said. . . .
Junior Jenny Marshall had a goal and an assist to help No. 9 Urbana to a 3-1 victory at Damascus in the Maryland 3A West final. The Hawks (13-3-2) earned their third state tournament berth in five years. Sophomore Katie Kirschenmann scored for Damascus (13-4).
“We’ve righted the ship, and it’s because they believe in one another,” Coach Chuck Nichols said. “I don’t think we have any super stars, but we work hard for one another. We’ve created that synergy that you’ve got to have this time of year.”
Urbana, which survived penalty kicks in Friday’s win over No. 7 Tuscarora, seized control early on Tuesday with junior Samie Abernethy’s 18th-minute goal. Marshall, a High Point commit, buried a 25-yard free kick early in the second half and set up senior Paige Humphreys for another insurance goal minutes later.
“It’s been amazing,” Marshall said of the playoff run. “There’s nothing more you can ask for from a team. I’m proud that our hard work has paid off.” . . .
Eleanor Roosevelt snapped Bowie’s run of three consecutive state playoff appearances with a 1-0 win in the 4A South final. The Raiders advance to play East Region champ Severna Park in Saturday’s state semifinal at Richard Montgomery. Senior Gabby Moreno had a goal and an assist to lead the Falcons to a 2-0 win over Leonardtownin the 4A East Region title game. . . . Defending 3A state champ Reservoir (9-8) continued its playoff run by beating Mount Hebron, 3-0, for the 3A East title. . . .
“I feel like we never got down on ourselves,” Coach Josh Sullivan said. “We always knew what we were cabable of, and it’s just nice to be playing this well at the right time.”