River Hill sophomore goalkeeper Brandon Mumby looked into Taylor Young's eyes as the Severna Park junior midfielder prepared to take a crucial penalty kick with three minutes remaining in Friday's Maryland 3A boys' soccer championship at UMBC.
Young looked left, so Mumby figured he would shoot to his right. He was correct.
Mumby, a backup who had played about 60 minutes this season before entering as an injury replacement with 24 minutes left Friday, dived to his left and preserved River Hill's one-goal lead. Three minutes later, the third-ranked Hawks had a 2-1 victory and their third consecutive state title.
"If you look at the circumstances in which Brandon made the save -- state final, he hadn't played a lot this season, and you're up 2-1 with the game on the line -- that has got to be one of the biggest saves ever made," said River Hill Coach Bill Stara, who inserted Mumby after junior goalie Matt Moss sprained his left ankle.
Junior midfielder Tyler Meade had a goal and an assist, but River Hill's fans chanted "Mum-by, Mum-by" as the Hawks (15-1-1) celebrated the sixth title in the Clarksville school's nine-year history.
Severna Park (14-5-1) had a shot at forcing overtime, at least, when the referee called a handball on a River Hill defender in the penalty area.
"Taylor's our money guy," Severna Park Coach Bob Thomas said. "He takes all of them in practice and he never misses. And he always shoots it in the lower right corner, and if I had to do it all over again, Taylor would be our shooter."
Meade opened the scoring in the 11th minute, when he headed in junior defender Matt Stara's high-arching throw-in. He then helped extend the lead in the 34th minute, when he delivered a cross to senior forward Theo Byrd, who one-timed the ball into the lower right corner.
The Falcons made it 2-1 when senior forward Greg Fenton headed-in a flip throw-in by senior sweeper Evan Richter, but Mumby prevented them from pulling any closer.
B-CC Claims Girls' Crown
Bethesda-Chevy Chase senior midfielder Natasha Mann controlled a loose ball just outside the Centennial penalty area in the opening minute of the second half of the girls' final and had one thought.
"My attacking mentality just took over," she said. "I knew one goal would probably be the difference in the game, so when I got the ball I took it to the goal."
Mann weaved her way through three defenders before sliding a shot into the lower right corner of the goal to lift her fifth-ranked team to a 1-0 victory over seventh-ranked Centennial.
Mann's goal 37 seconds into the second half enabled the Barons (15-1-1) to win their first state title since sharing the 2A crown with Centennial in 2001; the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association does not use penalty kicks to determine a winner in state soccer finals.
Centennial (13-2-1), which was also playing in its first state final since meeting the Barons three years ago, was denied what would have been a state-record seventh title in the state tournament's 16 year history.
"We put it on our seniors and Natasha came through for us," said B-CC Coach Rob Kurtz, whose team became the first squad from Montgomery County to win the 3A title since the MPSSAA adopted a four-classification system for girls' soccer in 1998. "We're didn't want to leave here as a co-champion -- we were going to leave here as a state champion."