CATONSVILLE — Marriotts Ridge allowed Queen Anne’s only real scoring opportunity 20 minutes into Saturday night’s Maryland 2A state final. On a breakaway, Zane Doyle pulled up from about 20 yards out — but pushed the low line drive left of the post — and the Lions retreated to play defense in the scoreless game. Five minutes later, it was over.
Marriotts Ridge scored two goals just three minutes apart in the first half, and Sam Willsey and Connor Delaney each scored two goals as the Mustangs cruised to a 4-0 victory and fourth consecutive 2A state championship at UMBC.
Queen Anne’s (16-1-1) arrived at the first state championship game in school history Saturday without having given up two goals in a game all season — and looking to upset a Marriotts Ridge team that had won 23 straight games dating back to October of last year. But the Lions just didn’t meet a program on a winning streak Saturday — they ran up against a dynasty, a program that was making its fifth straight state championship appearance. In those five years, Marriotts Ridge has lost just eight games and allowed 52 goals.
“It was probably the most pyschologically strong group that I’ve had,” said Marriott Ridge Coach Kevin Flynn of this year’s squad. “There’s a lot of pressure on this team.”
Marriotts Ridge (16-0) controlled the possession at will in the first half — and struck first when Willsey headed a cross inside the keeper’s box at the midway point of the half. Several minutes later, a set piece from 35 yards out was delivered in front of Queen Anne’s net by Brad Martinelli and immediately headed by Nick Applegate. The re-directed ball was headed again by Delaney into the upper right corner of the net, deflating Queen Anne’s.
“Set pieces are our bread and butter,” Delaney said.
Martinelli, Applegate and Delaney had combined for 25 goals heading into the title game — and Delaney all but sealed it with another goal late in the first half. Jonathan Muth delivered a corner kick low near the front post — and the ball trickled through the legs of goalkeeper Anthony D’Orsaneo. Delaney was waiting on the other side, and nudged the ball past the line. Willsey added another header off a corner kick late in the second half. Queen Anne’s had given up just seven goals all season.
“That team is dynamite,” said Queen Anne’s Coach Randy Capshaw of Marriotts Ridge. “They earn everything they get.”