Soccer teams lose in state semifinals
North Point girls fall to Walter Johnson in 2 OTs in 4A state semifinals
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.
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.
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.