-- After a season rife with tension, Sherwood goalkeepers Max Warren and Ryan Hock finally agreed Thursday night that they like splitting playing time.
Thanks to a solid first half from Warren and stellar second half from Hock, the Warriors beat Old Mill, 2-0, at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County to win their first Class 4A boys' soccer championship since 1988.
For Old Mill (18-1-1), its first loss of the year meant a second consecutive finish as state runner-up.
The Warriors (15-3-1) bookended the game with goals: a redirected corner kick by Emmanuel Yamson 10 minutes 55 seconds into the match and a breakaway goal by Michael Rolllings with 55 seconds left. Afterward, Warren and Hock shared a rare hug.
"Usually, we would shove each other," Hock said. "All year we've been fighting for playing time. Both of us wanted to start, and we kept going at it all season."
Warren, a junior, transferred from Georgetown Prep at the beginning of the season and aimed to overtake Hock, also a junior and the Warriors' established goalie. What ensued, Sherwood Coach Hector Morales said, "could only be described as very intense."
Each goalie played 40 minutes in every game. They battled each other in practice and had private, sometimes-combative conversations about who did what better.
Warren made three saves in the first half Thursday night, but felt more nervous rooting for Hock from the sideline. Hock single-handedly ended several of the Patriots' best scoring chances. Twice in the last 20 minutes, he ran forward and punched away potential Old Mill headers.
"They were both unstoppable," said Old Mill's Alex Buchholz, whose team fell in the final for the second straight year. "It seemed almost impossible to score."
Whitman Girls Win in Overtime
Whitman's Erica Wright scored an improbable goal one minute into overtime, giving the Vikings a 2-1 victory and sending South River to its third straight heartbreaking loss to end a season.
Whitman celebrated its first girls' soccer state title in school history; South River mourned a loss even more devastating than in 2002 and 2003, when it lost in the state semifinals on penalty kicks.
"This hurts so much that I'd say it feels almost the same," Seahawks midfielder Rachel Fry said. "It's awful, because I thought we'd gotten over the hump."
Nina Firmani scored for South River 15 minutes into the game. Thanks to a rejuvenated offense, Whitman fired 14 shots on goal in the second half, including Charlotte Rizzi's goal with 22 minutes left.
That goal set up Wright's heroic shot in overtime. As she described it, the Whitman senior swung her leg at the ball "harder than I can ever remember." It grazed against the bottom of the crossbar before dropping in.
"After it left my foot, I knew it was a goal," Wright said. "I just got a feeling, a really great feeling."
Said Fry: "It was the perfect shot, nothing we could do. I just wonder when it will be our turn."