Smith responded by scoring a pair of goals as the Wildebeests’ avenged a loss to Washington International in last season’s championship, beating the Red Devils 3-1 in Olney.
“It’s a dream come true,” Smith said. “After last year’s defeat, we felt like we were missing something. To come back and win the title in my senior year is really reassuring.”
Sandy Spring, which was undefeated when it lost the 2010 final to WIS, trailed early after a Washington International goal by Yon Dawit, but rallied behind Smith and tournament MVP Braeden Kelly.
After Kelly was taken down in the 18-yard box, Smith converted a 17th-minute penalty kick to tie the score. Nine minutes later, the Wildebeests (13-2-1) took the lead when Kelly finished a breakaway opportunity off a through pass from junior Nick Tait.
Smith scored an insurance goal in the second half and sophomore goalie Luke Murray made 10 saves to keep the Red Devils (12-6-2) off the board during the final 68 minutes.
“As a team, we learned from our loss,” Kelly said. “We worked harder than them, kept working and working. It was really a team effort.”
WIS girls take PVAC crown
In the girls’ championship game, Washington International made a pair of first-half goals stand up, holding off Covenant Life, 2-1, for its second straight PVAC title.
Senior Lilly El-Said and junior Catherine Tanner scored 11 minutes apart in the opening half to give the Red Devils an advantage. But they couldn’t build on it after intermission and Covenant Life freshman Jamie Montgomery’s 67th minute goal ensured that WIS would need to battle to claim another title.
Washington International (12-3) mostly controlled play after that but couldn’t celebrate until freshman goalie Sophie Whitehouse made a sliding save to snuff out a late Cougar charge.
“The last few minutes were tough,” Tanner said, “but it felt good when it was over and we took the [championship] banner.”
After losing six players off last year’s title-winning squad, WIS was even better this season with a young roster that featured just three seniors. The Red Devils won all 10 games against conference opponents.
“I never dreamt that we would do a double,” Coach Colin Buck said. “We weren’t very good early, but we learned from some tough games out of the league, and in the last few weeks we were playing some really good soccer.”
— Eric Detweiler
Watkins Mill lets loose
Through the first half hour of the Maryland 3A West boys’ soccer quarterfinal, it looked like it was going to be one of those days where goals just wouldn’t come for Watkins Mill.
The Wolverines (11-2) peppered the Damascus goal, but shot after shot found a way to avoid the back of the net. Oscar Carcamo finally put a rebound away in the 29th minute, and thirty seconds later Angel Barrios got a lucky deflection to open the floodgates in Watkins Mill’s 6-0 win over Damascus (5-11).
“After our first goal, we got some relief knowing we can come at them,” senior midfielder Patrick Pato said. “This was our first playoff game so I knew some of my teammates had nerves, but to get the first win [by a big margin] is a boost and we can get ready for our next game.”
Several clear opportunities had been blocked by sprawling Damascus defenders early, and when Will Yougnia’s shot parried away in the 29th minute, it appeared to be more of the same. This time, however, Carcamo got there to push the rebound into the open net.
Less than a minute later, Barrios’s attempted cross was deflected inside the post, and two more goals within seven minutes after the break sealed the outcome.
— Paul Tenorio