Leonardtown junior goalkeeper Carolyn Matisick said she "will sacrifice anything" in her efforts to keep the ball out of the net.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, she had to do that again and again Friday night in the Maryland 3A semifinals.
Matisick stopped five breakaways, including three in the first half, to keep the game close, but Eastern Tech junior Jaime Stimmel scored the game's only goal on a free kick with 14 minutes to play. The Mavericks' 1-0 victory ended the season for the defending 3A state champions and set up an Eastern Tech-River Hill final. No. 3 River Hill defeated Thomas Johnson, 3-0, in the first game of Friday night's doubleheader.
The Raiders (12-5-1) were shut out for the second time this season. St. Mary's-Annapolis defeated Leonardtown, 1-0, on Oct. 26.
In Friday's game, played at Sherwood High in Sandy Spring, Matisick started off strong, pushing a point-blank shot by Stephanie Gutowski just wide of the goal in the sixth minute.
After Leonardtown created a couple of good shots, Eastern Tech's Valerie Cushing broke away from the Raiders defense, and Matisick blocked her attempt with a kick save to keep the game scoreless.
"[Leonardtown's] keeper did an outstanding job of cutting the angle off," said Eastern Tech Coach Wendy Butz, whose team is 14-2 and headed for a state final for the first time in school history.
"Whenever a player passes my defense, I am committed to getting the ball," said Matisick, who allowed just seven goals this season. "I would sacrifice anything for the ball not to go in the goal."
After the close call, Leonardtown senior midfielder Katherine Frink fed freshman forward Lauren Steele the ball on the right side, but Eastern Tech goalkeeper Shannon Markel made a sliding stop before Steele could get a shot off.
The Mavericks finally broke through in the 66th minute. Stimmel lined up on the left side of the field, 22 yards from the goal. She lofted a shot over Matisick's head and into the upper right corner of the net.
"The lights got in my eye, and [the shot] was in the upper 90," Matisick said. "It was a good shot."
"[Matisick] came up huge, especially in the first half," Leonardtown Coach Jennifer Henderson said. "The goal they had, she could not have gotten, it was a beautiful far-post kick."
Leonardtown's last chance came in the 77th minute, when junior Elizabeth Jenny took advantage of a bad clearance by the Mavericks, ripping a shot from outside the penalty box. But Markel made the save.
Eastern Tech (14-2) 0 1--1
Leonardtown (12-5-1) 0 0--0
GOALS--E: Stimmel, 66th minute.
SHOTS--Eastern Tech 9, Leonardtown 9.
SAVES--E: Markel 4. L: Matisick 6.