Soc­cer teams lose in state semi­fi­nals

North Point girls fall to Wal­ter John­son in 2 OTs in 4A state semi­fi­nals

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

UP­PER MARL­BORO — By half­time of Satur­day’s Class 4A state girls soc­cer semi­fi­nal con­test at Wise High School, North Point had one of the top-ranked teams in the state in Wal­ter John­son on the ropes with a one-goal lead.

The Mont­gomery County op­po­nent tied the game at 2 near the mid­way point of the sec­ond half and the dead­lock stood through the rest of reg­u­la­tion and through nearly 1 1/2 over­time pe­ri­ods.

As both teams were in des­per­a­tion mode to end the game with­out need­ing penalty kicks, it hap­pened.

Wal­ter John­son se­nior for­ward Cam- mie Murtha sent a shot from 20 yards to­ward the net while fall­ing to the turf. The shot at­tempt then in­ad­ver­tently slipped through the hands of North Point se­nior goal­keeper Tai­lor Gam­mons and into the back of the net with 5 min­utes 57 sec­onds re­main­ing in the sec­ond over­time to give the Wild­cats a 3-2 vic­tory over the Ea­gles.

Murtha, the team’s lead­ing scorer, pro­pelled Wal­ter John­son (17-1 over­all) to its first state cham­pi­onship game in pro­gram his­tory as it will meet Perry Hall of Bal­ti­more County this week at Loy­ola Univer­sity in Bal­ti­more. Perry Hall de­feated Anne Arun­del County’s South River 1-0 in Satur­day’s other state semi­fi­nal.

Murtha also scored on a game-win­ning

penalty shot in the fi­nal minute of Wed­nes­day’s 5-4 win over county foe Woot­ton in the 4A West Re­gion cham­pi­onship game.

“For those that know Cam­mie and may not know she will take this team on her shoul­ders and not in a self­ish way,” Wal­ter John­son head coach Liz Robin­son said. “When it comes down to crunch time she is go­ing to do what­ever she needs to do to put it on frame.

On what North Point pre­sented to them dur­ing the game, Robin­son said, “North Point def­i­nitely has the speed up top that we re­ally haven’t faced this year and de­fen­sively they are re­ally poised and pa­tient,” Robin­son said. “They make it real dif­fi­cult to beat them around with pass­ing.”

North Point (14-3-1) led 2-1, un­til Murtha notched the game-ty­ing goal on a penalty kick with less than 24 min­utes left in reg­u­la­tion.

Wal­ter John­son struck first with 21:16 left in the first half as fresh­man mid­fielder Emma Mills scored on an open goal.

“It’s the most amaz­ing feel­ing in the world when you see that ball es­cape the keeper’s hands and crossed that white line,” Wal­ter John­son’s CJ Maloney said. “It is so ex­cit­ing to be in the state cham­pi­onship.”

With their phys­i­cal­ity and speed up top, the Ea­gles re­sponded with back-to-back goals by se­nior for­ward Brianna Reid, the first com­ing on an as­sist from ju­nior for­ward Son­nia Moses and the sec­ond on a penalty kick just be­fore the half as the Wild­cats were called for a handball.

Reid, who had picked up a yel- low card dur­ing reg­u­la­tion for a hard foul, re­ceived a red card in the first over­time for ex­ces­sive force on Wal­ter John­son goal- keeper Hai­ley Chaikin in the box and couldn’t play for the rest of the game. Reid’s ejec­tion meant North Point played one player down on the field for the re­main­der of the game.

“Re­gard­less who we had on the field 10, 9, or 8 we told each other that we are go­ing to fight un­til the end, and that is what we did,” North Point head coach Kiante Webb said. “I’m proud of them. We didn’t get the re­sult we wanted, but we had a great sea­son. This one re­ally hurts.”

Gam­mons fin­ished with 13 saves, while Chaikin col­lected four saves in the win.

“It hurts more be­cause we made it so far. We played very well to­day, it just didn’t end in our fa­vor,” Moses said. “We got bet­ter as the sea­son went on and we had a lot of fun play­ing to­gether. I’m go­ing to miss the se­niors.”

North Point, which had nine se­niors, had a stel­lar sea­son, claim­ing its sec­ond straight Po­tomac Divi­sion ti­tle and was a co-SMAC cham­pion with North­ern. The Ea­gles won their first-ever re­gion cham­pi­onship in pro­gram his­tory with a 7-0 shutout of Park­dale on Tues­day in the 4A South Re­gion fi­nal.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

North Point se­nior Aimee La­tour, left, bat­tles for pos­ses­sion with Emmi Mills of Wal­ter John­son in the Class 4A state semi­fi­nals at Wise High School. The Ea­gles fell in dou­ble over­time, 3-2.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

North Point sopho­more de­fender Court­ney Moss gain pos­ses­sion of the ball in Satur­day’s Class 4A state semi­fi­nals against Wal­ter John­son of Mont­gomery County at Wise High School in Up­per Marl­boro. Wal­ter John­son won the con­test 3-2 in dou­ble over­time.

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