Perry Hall loses to Wal­ter John­son in OT, 3-2

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Craig Clary

Wal­ter John­son se­nior Cam­mie Murtha spent the first 80 min­utes of the Class 4A girls soc­cer state cham­pi­onship game feed­ing her team­mates.

But, with 2:36 left in the first over­time, the Wis­con­sin-bound se­nior ate up her own glory af­ter scor­ing the game-win­ning goal in a 3-2 vic­tory over No. 5 Perry Hall on Fri­day night at Loy­ola Mary­land’s Ri­d­ley Ath­letic Com­plex.

It was the first state ti­tle for Wal­ter John­son (18-1) in its first ap­pear­ance in the fi­nals.

“Ev­ery­one is go­ing to re­mem­ber that this team won the first state ti­tle for WJ,” Wal­ter John­son coach Liz Robin­son said.

Nei­ther team held back in the first half when four goals were scored. None were scored in the sec­ond half. Murtha’s game-win­ning goal came af­ter she got a soft touch, fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with the Perry Hall goalie Ally Small and a de­fender, and the ball trick­led into the net.

Murtha’s 30th goal of the sea­son was her most mem­o­rable.

“This one is def­i­nitely num­ber one,” she said. “The goals lead­ing up are awe­some, but it felt so great to fi­nally get one in this game and es­pe­cially to win the game for this team.”

Perry Hall (15-4), mak­ing its fifth trip to the state fi­nals, with the last com­ing in 2003, was also seek­ing its first ti­tle, and coach Matt Smoot couldn’t fault the ef­fort af­ter watch­ing his team rally from two one-goal Perry Hall’s Phoebe Canoles, cen­ter, and goal­keeper Ally Small col­lide with Wal­ter John­son’s Cam­mie Murtha, right, on the play that gave Wal­ter John­son a 3-2 over­time win. deficits in the first half.

“I felt like it was a very even game, back and forth,” Smoot said. “I can’t say enough about the cal­iber of play­ers on that field.”

Perry Hall had the first scor­ing op­por­tu­nity af­ter a pass from Ryleigh Fach­ler led to a shot from 30 yards out by Rachel Bohli that hit the top of the cross­bar and bounced over the goal with 35:30 left.

Just over three min­utes later, Wal­ter John­son struck when Murtha raced down the left win and fed a low cross to Car­rie Jo Maloney for a goal and 1-0 lead.

Perry Hall’s first shot on goal came with just over 19 min­utes left af­ter a cor­ner kick by Eleni Sereve­tas led to a head shot on goal that was saved by goalie Al­lie Holden.

Perry Hall scored the equal­izer with 18:30 left in the half on a goal by Fach­ler off an as­sist by Sum­mer Meisel.

Wal­ter John­son’s same duo that com­bined for the first goal gave the Wild­cats a 2-1 lead with 9:17 left in the first half when Murtha fed Maloney in the box and she de­posited the ball into the net. It was Murtha’s 24th as­sist of the sea­son.

Perry Hall tied the game at 2 when Fach­ler scored her sec­ond goal of the game and 14th of the sea­son af­ter a nifty pass in the box from Kara Di­et­rich.

The Ga­tors had an early chance in the sec­ond half af­ter a shot by Bohli in the box was saved by Holden.

With 32:35 left, a free kick by Phoebe Canoles led to a shot in close by Meisel that sailed over the goal.

Less than two min­utes later, Fach­ler out­ran a de­fender and nearly had a one-on-one with Holden, but the Wild­cats keeper came way out of the box and cut off the an­gle for a shot.

Wal­ter John­son nearly ended it with just un­der four min­utes re­main­ing when Murtha was ahead of the Perry Hall de­fense af­ter a pass by Anya Ditchek, but Ga­tors goalie Small raced out and made a div­ing save.

Ditchek’s re­bound shot went over the open goal and the game went into over­time.

Small was helped all evening by strong de­fen­sive play from Canoles, Aya Neal and mid­fielder Rachael Wil­syn­ski.

Murtha al­most won the game for the Wild­cats 118 sec­onds into over­time when she had a shot at an open goal from 10 yards out the car­omed off the near post.

STEVE RUARK/FOR BALTIMORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

STEVE RUARK/FOR BALTIMORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

Bel Air’s Ja­cob Ran­nie (7) and Ryan Al­bright (11) walk to con­grat­u­late Wal­ter John­son’s Cameron Whee­den (2) af­ter the Wild­cats’ vic­tory.

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