It was only fitting that the most dramatic of the four Maryland state boys soccer championships yesterday at Old Mill occurred in the Class 4A finale between Bowie and Broadneck.
In the end the highly touted Bulldogs showed why they are the area's top-ranked team and the nation's No. 2 team. They settled the matter 4 1/2 minutes into sudden death, with Byron Pena's kick from 30 yards that gave Bowie a 2-1 victory and the championship.
Earlier, Oakland Mills defeated Franklin by 6-0 in the Class 3A championships, and Atholton won its first state title by defeating Fallston, 3-0, in the Class 2A game.
"The goal was just luck," said Pena. "I didn't know where I was. I saw the goal in front of me and just gave it my best shot."
The teams put on a masterful exhibition of high intensity, high-tech soccer. Bowie (16-0) attacked No. 5 Broadneck (10-3-4) in relentless waves, pelting the Bruins' net with 33 shots. Broadneck goalie Sean Tettemer was under fire the entire night but the Bruins' defense remained staunch and was able to withstand the onslaught.
Bowie finally scored at 69:29 as Steve Wandzilak, situated on the right wing, received a pass from Gerry Shukert and sent a beautiful shot past a diving Tettemer inside the far post.
Rich Aftoora answered for the Bruins when he settled across from Bowie goalie Matt Weimer and scored with 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
Oakland Mills (14-2) proved too fast, strong and tall for Franklin (12-2) as LaPaca Trout, on a pass from Malcolm Gillian, scored at 18:52. Gillian was involved in 11 of the third-ranked Scorpions' 12 postseason goals, scoring nine and assisting on two.
Yesterday, Gillian had a hat trick and two assists. His penalty-kick goal at 22:08 made it 2-0. Goals by Clint Peay, with an assist from Gillian, and Jay Holmes, with an assist from Peay, increased the lead to 4-0 by halftime.
"I just really wanted to win a state championship so I started to look more toward scoring. And it was there for me," said Gillian.
The Scorpions have made a record-tying eight state appearances and have won a record seven state championships. They outscored opponents this season, 56-9.
Following Atholton's 2A championship win, Coach Reg Hahne said: "Atholton is definitely on the map now. People know where Oakland Mills, Centennial and Howard are. Well, now they will know where Atholton is and we are here to stay."
The 11th-ranked Raiders (11-3-1) began the game facing the wind and Hahne said "we were just hoping to stay close and maybe go in at halftime down one goal." But Atholton goalie Kori Hunter kept the Raiders in the game with a series of superb saves and Atholton was able to score right before intermission.
Atholton's goal came at 38:41 as forward Tony Dedmond (15 goals, 11 assists) scored the first of his two goals, tapping in a through ball from Nick Bostrom.
With the lead and the wind at their back, the Raiders began the second half strongly and easily controlled the Cougars. "Once they didn't score in the first half with the wind at their back, we knew they weren't going to score against it," said Dedmond, who also had an assist on the third goal.
Dedmond's second goal came at 48:04 as Todd Bradford's direct kick deflected off the Fallston wall to Dedmond, who scored from six yards. Bradford headed in Dedmond's throw-in at 39:15 to finish the scoring.
"We knew we couldn't afford to make any errors against them if we wanted to win," said Fallston's Chris Eatough. "But we did make some errors and they capitalized on them."
Brunswick (13-2-1) defeated Havre de Grace (11-2-3) by 4-1 in the Class 1A championship as Pat Darling and Randy Martin each scored twice and Chris Doyle had three assists.