Prevails in IAC
After losing to Bullis twice during the Interstate Athletic Conference regular season and being dominated in the scoreless first half of yesterday's tournament final, Georgetown Prep found a winning formula with little time to spare.
With some creative problem-solving and a few savvy tactical changes, the Little Hoyas manufactured a goal by senior Matt Lawler in the 48th minute and made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the top-seeded Bulldogs at St. Albans. The win gave the Little Hoyas (9-6-2, 7-5-1) their first IAC title.
Bullis (12-6-1, 9-2-0) did everything in the first 40 minutes but score. Its success started in the back, with sophomore right back Mike Senkowski and sophomore sweeper Carlos Parra shutting down Prep's forwards and engineering a precise passing attack that led to numerous scoring opportunities. But each time, Hoyas freshman goalkeeper Nick Noble (five saves in the first half) denied Bullis at the doorstep.
"We had to put pressure on [Senkowski and Parra], because that's where their feeding was. There was a certain element of predictability in their game," Prep Coach Guy Fraiture said. "In the second half, we had to do a better job of using the width of the field. I thought their outside defenders were vulnerable."
"The last two games were all about hustle," Lawler said, referring also to a 1-0 semifinal upset over second-seeded Landon. "We just wanted it more."
-- Brian Straus
River Hill Ahead
River Hill senior Adom Crew spent last summer traveling the country and playing top-flight competition as part of U.S. Soccer's Olympic development program. If there was any doubt that the experience has not lessened his desire to lead No. 3 River Hill back to the Maryland 3A state final, it was erased yesterday. Crew tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Hawks past Walter Johnson, 4-0, in a semifinal at Magruder.
"They're both important, but you have so much more togetherness and camaraderie as a team in high school," said Crew, referring to his summer experience. He has 14 goals and 18 assists this season.
The victory gives River Hill (16-1) its fourth trip to the state final in the Howard County school's four-year existence. The Hawks will meet Fallston (Baltimore), which eliminated Thomas Stone, 3-2.
Crew helped begin the scoring early in the first half, passing off on a textbook give-and-go through the middle of Walter Johnson's penalty box with senior Todd Tedrow, who one-touched the ball into the net with 36 minutes 9 seconds remaining in the first half.
Though dominating the tempo throughout the game, River Hill did not get on the board again until the opening stages of the second half, when Crew collected a cross in the goalmouth from senior Clif Jackson and tapped it into the lower right corner.
In the second game, Thomas Stone's second-half rally fell short. Stone (15-3) yielded three first-half goals to Fallston (14-2), but came back in the second half behind scores from seniors Jimmy Tagert and Brian Moroz.
-- Josh Leventhal
Drop T. Stone
River Hill junior forward Rashida Walcott scored two goals to hand Thomas Johnson its first loss of the season, 3-0, in a Maryland 3A state semifinal doubleheader at Sherwood High in Sandy Spring.
The Hawks, who have won eight straight games, will play Eastern Tech in the final on the University of Maryland-Baltimore County campus in Catonsville next week.
Eastern Tech defeated defending 3A champion Leonardtown, 1-0, on a 22-yard direct kick by Jaime Stimmel with 14:29 remaining. The Mavericks (14-2) will be playing in a state final for the first time in school history.
River Hill (18-1) has reached two state finals in its four-year existence, sharing the Maryland 3A/2A title with South River in 1997. The Raiders won the Maryland 3A title last fall and were the first Southern Maryland girls soccer team to accomplish the feat.
Thomas Johnson, which is ranked 19th in the nation by USA Today, finished the season 18-1-1.
-- Bryan Tucker