Atholton won the 2A state boys' soccer championship last year, and at least one player said he enjoyed the same kind of thrill last week when the Raiders defeated River Hill for the first time in school history.
"It was like we won the state title all over again, because as soon as the game was over we all got in a huddle and started jumping up and down," senior midfielder Grayson Schmelzer said after the 3-2 win. "It was like, 'Wow, is this really happening?' "
Schmelzer posted two goals and an assist, and the Raiders dominated the midfield against the defending 3A state champion Hawks, who had beaten the Raiders every season since the Clarksville school opened in 1996.
"We've come close to beating River Hill before, so when we finally did, it was crazy," Coach Roch DeFrances said. "The next day after practice, I took the team to the concession stand while our junior varsity team was playing and told them to get whatever they wanted. It cost me $45, but it was the best $45 I've probably ever spent."
Nick Vega's goal off Tyler Meade's corner kick gave River Hill a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute, but Atholton (3-1) tied the game in the 35th minute when Schmelzer lofted a free kick from in front of his team's bench that deflected off several players to junior Jon Beltran, who was unguarded on the far post.
Schmelzer then gave his team a 2-1 lead in the final minute of the first half. He lofted a free kick from 35 yards away, and River Hill goalie Matt Moss and Atholton forward Ross Lewin collided while going for it, allowing the ball to roll into the goal.
"I just tried to get it on goal, and anything could happen," Schmelzer said. "I was surprised that it went in."
River Hill (2-1-1) tied the game when Greg Sneeringer headed in Matt Stara's throw-in midway through the second half.
Schmelzer scored the game winner when a shot by Beltran deflected off a defender to Schmelzer. He maneuvered past a defender and drove a shot toward the lower-left corner that deflected off defender Stara's foot and into the goal in the 74th minute.
Bosica Picks Tar Heels
Mount Hebron senior midfielder Megan Bosica, last year's All-Met Player of the Year in girls' lacrosse, has orally committed to play for the University of North Carolina.
Bosica, who posted 65 goals and 31 assists last spring to lead the top-ranked Vikings to the Maryland 3A/2A title, chose the Tar Heels over Maryland after spending time at each school during official visits this month.
"It was a really hard decision because I like the players and coaches at both North Carolina and Maryland," said Bosica, who has 152 goals and 65 assists in her three-year high school career. "But there was just something about North Carolina. It's a beautiful school, and the people were so friendly when I went on my visit. I just felt that it was the right place for me."
New Role for Shadoff
Eric Shadoff, one of the top scorers for Mount Hebron's boys' soccer team last fall, is now preventing goals for Delaware.
Shadoff is the defensive-center midfielder for the Blue Hens, who posted their first victory of the season last week with a 1-0 win at Navy. Shadoff, who has started every game for the Blue Hens (1-3-2) , serves as the link between the defense and attack.
"He's adjusted to his role very well for a freshman," said Coach Marc Samonisky. "He still has some high school in him, meaning that he gets a little out of position at times, but I've been really pleased with his play."
Shadoff posted a team-high 10 goals and seven assists last fall and was the only Howard County boys' soccer player to earn a Division I scholarship last year.
"I'm used to scoring, so what I'm doing now has taken some time to get used to, but I'm getting the chance to play a lot," he said. "I just want our team to win, and we really needed this win against Navy. I think playing at Mount Hebron prepared me to play in college, and I definitely think I made the right choice to go to Delaware."