Perry Hall loses to Walter Johnson in OT, 3-2
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.
Bel Air’s Jacob Rannie (7) and Ryan Albright (11) walk to congratulate Walter Johnson’s Cameron Wheeden (2) after the Wildcats’ victory.