Season after season, the DeMatha soccer team has posted winning records, accumulated individual accolades and made regular appearances in The Post's rankings. But since 1987, the Hyattsville private school had not won a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship.
Yesterday at the RFK Stadium auxiliary field, seniors Matt Oliver, Fabrice Mukoko and Marty Shaw changed that, helping lead the ninth-ranked Stags to a 4-0 victory over Pallotti.
"I think there was a confidence this season, not an arrogance, that we were going to do it this year," Shaw said. "We knew we could come out and do the job."
In the girls final, fourth-ranked Good Counsel (21-3-1 overall, 13-0-1) again demonstrated they are the class of the conference, repeating as champions with a 4-0 victory over second-seeded O'Connell. The shutout was the Wheaton school's 10th straight. O'Connell finished 15-6-3 overall, 12-2-2 in the conference.
DeMatha (13-3-3, 12-1-3) played aggressively against a Pallotti (13-5-5, 5-4-5) team that defeated previously unbeaten Gonzaga, 1-0, on Friday. Shaw's skillful midfield play created numerous scoring opportunities for DeMatha's quick, powerful forwards.
Mukoko nodded in sophomore Warren Williams's cross in the 10th minute, and Shaw set up Oliver's goal with a skillful touch to the left side of the penalty area three minutes later. With DeMatha's energy and hard work off the ball and Oliver's airtight defense, Pallotti had few chances to pull itself back into the game.
Frampton Saves Streak
The No. 2 Sidwell Friends boys soccer team appeared in danger of its first defeat in the Mid-Atlantic Conference championship game when starting goalkeeper Zack Knight received a red card in the 25th minute.
But playing a man down for the next 55 minutes, the Northwest private school scored twice and reserve goalkeeper Thomas Frampton made four spectacular saves, including one on a penalty kick, to lead Sidwell to a 2-0 victory over the Potomac School of McLean and extend its winning streak to 19.
No. 1 Boys Team Toppled
The Springbrook boys defeated previously unbeaten and nationally ranked No. 1 Wootton, 1-0, on penalty kicks Wednesday night, abruptly ending the Rockville school's title hopes in the first round of the Maryland 4A playoffs.
The teams remained scoreless after 80 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods. Springbrook captain Andrew Ma scored the decisive strike in a penalty kick tiebreaker that the Blue Devils won, 11-10. Wootton ended its season with a 12-1-1 record.
"We were up for the challenge," Springbrook Coach Friday Johnson said. "Our kids knew this team could be beat."
However, the Blue Devils (9-4-1) lost to Churchill, 1-0, Saturday night in the Maryland 4A West Region semifinals. Churchill will play Magruder in Tuesday's region final.
Special correspondents Noel Cox and Nathan Max contributed to this report.