Churchill 3, High Point 0
Churchill defeated High Point, 3-0, in the Maryland 4A boys' final today at UMBC, and senior Justin Mayo is going to Disney World.
Though he is traveling with his club team, the Bethesda Alliance, in December, it's there that Mayo plans to celebrate his second state soccer championship.
"It's a great feeling, better than my freshman year, when I didn't play at all," said Mayo, who had one assist to raise his team-leading total to seven. "We got on this big field, and knocked the ball around really well."
Churchill (11-2), which has won seven state championships, last won a state title in 1999. Today the Bulldogs outshot High Point 15-8 and took five corner kicks to the Eagles' one.
"I really wanted to win this game tonight, just for my own completion," Churchill Coach Dave Kelley said. "Because this is such a nice group of kids, it's real sweet."
The loss ended the most successful season for the Eagles (14-2), who captured the 4A South Region by eliminating Eleanor Roosevelt, 5-1, and advanced to their first state championship game by edging Perry Hall, 3-2, in the semifinals on Monday.
"We were the only team in High Point history to get to the finals, so that is an accomplishment for our school," senior midfielder Jerry Thay said.
"We just didn't move the ball around the way we should've, we just didn't play our game. They outplayed us, and they deserved to win."
Churchill got its first goal when a ball bounced off a High Point player right to forward Aksel Yavalar's feet. Yavalar, the Bulldogs' leading scorer with six goals entering the game, booted the shot into the net to give Churchill the lead in the fifth minute.
Yavalar added to his assist total in the 22nd minute, when he found freshman Shoehei Kawasaki open 12 yards in front of the goal. Kawasaki, who is Churchill's leading scorer in the state tournament despite spending the entire season on the junior varsity, banged the pass into the right side of the goal and Churchill led 2-0 entering halftime.
Senior Chris Wielgus, who transferred to Churchill from Scottsdale, Ariz., scored the Bulldogs' final goal, off a corner-kick assist from Mayo in the 55th minute. Wielgus, with a combination of tough play and personality, became the team's captain this year and scored six goals this season.
"I integrated myself into the team quite quickly," Wielgus said. "I just played aggressively, I'd be all over the place, and nobody really liked me, but all I had was soccer. Somewhere along the line, I made a connection with the guys, a year later I'm looking at being their captain and taking it as far as I can."