A strange thing happened to the Leonardtown boys' soccer team on Wednesday in its last game of the regular season against Great Mills. With 20 minutes to go and the Raiders leading 3-0, a Great Mills player was fouled in the penalty box and converted the resulting penalty kick.
It was the first goal scored on Leonardtown in 11 games, a scoreless streak that spanned 860 minutes.
Leonardtown won the game, however, finishing undefeated and with its second consecutive Southern Maryland Athletic Conference championship.
The Calvert girls' soccer team has been equally dominant this season. Since losing to Southern (Balt.), 2-1, on Sept. 6, the Cavaliers have not lost. They finished the season 13-1, 10-0 in the SMAC, and became the first team from Calvert County to win the conference championship.
"Basically, this is the same team I've been grooming for four years," Calvert Coach Doug Jones said. "I knew they had it in them. It was just a matter of playing well, and playing together the whole time."
Calvert outscored its opponents 55-10. The defense, led by junior goalkeeper Heather Moe, sophomore sweeper Stephani Jones and sophomore stopper Rachel Griner, had 10 shutouts this season. Senior forward Jen Corken and senior midfielder Megan Salley carried the team on offense. Corken led the team with 29 goals and seven assists.
Corken "is an animal. She's sneaky like you need to be at forward," Jones said. "Megan has great vision and really controls the center of the field. She goes and goes and goes, and never seems to tire out."
Leonardtown also had a staggering goal disparity in the regular season, outscoring opponents 48-4. Though prolific goal scorers such as junior Danny Poe, senior striker Weston Sellmer and senior Chad Johnson terrorized defenses, senior Blake Roth, who anchored the stalwart defense, credits the team's success this season with its offseason work.
"I think it shows what hard work can do," Roth said. "If you work together as a team in the offseason, it will show in the regular season. I think people can say we're now one of the top programs in the SMAC."
Though both teams won SMAC championships, neither is satisfied with a single trophy. Leonardtown lost to Northern in the Maryland 3A South Region finals last season and has been seeking all season to improve on that result.
"From the beginning of the season, we've pretty much used last year's team as motivation to do even better this year," Poe said. "Thinking that last year we did so well, this year we wanted to do better, and it happened."
Calvert lost to Leonardtown in last year's 3A South Region semifinals, but should surpass that this year.
"They're quite confident, and they should be -- just as long as they don't become complacent or take any of these teams for granted," Jones said. "We need to stay focused, but we are looking really good right now."