Wootton, Severna Park advance to Maryland 4A boys’ soccer final; Reservoir heads to 3A championship
By Eric Detweiler and Jonas Shaffer,
A lacrosse goalie committed to play at Towson, Wootton senior Matt Hoy isn’t afraid to mix it up in front of the net no matter the sport. So it’s hardly surprising Hoy thrived in a rugged Maryland 4A boys’ soccer semifinal, scoring a pair of goals in his team’s 3-1 win over Perry Hall at Richard Montgomery.
The forward’s timely offense sparked the Patriots (16-1-1) to their first state final, where they will meet Severna Park.
“A lot of the coaches make fun of me because I play a more physical style of game,” said Hoy, who has 25 goals and nine assists this season. “They attribute it to my lacrosse background. That’s fine with me.”
Hoy provided the game’s first score in the sixth minute, firing a shot from just outside the 18-yard box inside the far post after collecting a pass from junior Matt McDonnell.
After Perry Hall (12-4-2) tied it up, Wootton took the lead for good on an own goal by the Gators off a 46th-minute corner kick.
With eight minutes left in regulation, Hoy, playing with a yellow card, shrugged off a defender and chipped over the drawn out goalkeeper, ensuring he’ll play at least one more high school game in his secondary sport.
“I just like to come out here and have as much fun as possible,” Hoy said. “I don’t like to count the goals or anything. I just like to go out and have fun with all my friends.”
Later, senior Tim Nelson headed home the game-winner on a corner kick in the 47th minute of Severna Park’s 2-1 victory over Northwestern. The Falcons (18-1) had been eliminated in the state semifinals in four of the past five seasons.
In their first state tournament appearance in 17 years, the Wildcats (13-3) struck first in the 35th minute on a goal by junior Vedy Tebit but ended up playing from behind most of the night.
The defender had not scored this season before converting a similar play in Tuesday’s 4A East region final win over Old Mill.
Northwestern pressed hard for the equalizer in the closing minutes and most of its players dropped to the cold turf when the final whistle sounded, while Severna Park celebrated the chance to win its third state title and first since 2001.
Before the Gators’ postseason could start two weeks ago, a tradition two years in the making would have to endure. When Reservoir won a state title in 2010, it did so with a set of bleached-blonde hairdos. The Gators’ ambitions were no different this season, and so, to the chagrin of girlfriends and mothers, neither were their superstitions.
“They said that we’re going to do it,” Reservoir Coach Reg Hahne said, “and we’re going to keep it for the rest of the season.”
With a thorough 5-1 win over Huntingtown in the Maryland 3A boys’ soccer semifinals at the Community College of Baltimore County, Essex, chances are a trip to the barber is still a week away. The Gators (12-6) will face Urbana, which beat North Harford, 5-1, in the other 3A semifinal.
Huntingtown’s Perry Burgess opened the scoring in the 14th minute and nearly added a second minutes later, but that would be it for the Hurricanes (13-5).
Reservoir’s Nick Jobst had a 27th-minute tap-in after Mike Peprah redirected a pinpoint cross across an empty goalmouth. Almost eight minutes before halftime, Reservoir took a 2-1 lead on a Javier Wardcantrori goal, the ball meeting the blonde racing stripe atop the midfielder’s head before bounding into the net.
After Gibrill Sheriff added to the lead, Reservoir’s fourth, and finest, goal came as Wardcantrori reared back and, as he fell backward, blasted a 30-yarder just under the left post.
“I saw it,” Wardcantrori said, “and I was like, ‘It’s not – it’s going, it’s going!’ ”
A perfectly arced John Lopes chip punctuated the five-goal outburst — equal to the team’s combined scoring total in its three prior playoff games — and helped make way for a new wave of golden-domed players.
All the while, parents snapped photos and cheered on heartily, appreciative of their Gators’ newfound scoring styles, if not their, well, hairstyles.
“Sometimes, they’re like, ‘Eww,’ ” Wardcantrori said. “But then other times, they’re like, ‘Hey, it’s worth it.’ ”
Marriotts Ridge heads to final
Elsewhere, senior Jonathan Muth scored on a breakaway in the 79th minute, delivering the three-time defending state champion Marriotts Ridge boys’ team back to the Maryland 2A final with a 1-0 win over South Carroll at Bel Air. Senior Connor Delaney set up the game’s only goal. The Mustangs (16-0) will play East region champ Queen Anne’s County in the title game at UMBC.