Calverton falls in soccer finals
Girls upended by Rockbridge, boys edged by Takoma
On a clear, crisp autumn night that began with a hint of promise on its home field, The Calverton School boys and girls soccer teams were upended in the Metro Independent Schools Athletic League championship games on Saturday evening in Huntingtown.
The Calverton girls (10-2 overall) actually scored the first goal of their title against Rockbridge Academy from Anne Arundel County when senior Ashley Ehrmantraut drilled a high shot that eluded Rockbridge goalkeeper Michaela Hughes just less
than minutes into the contest. But less than a minute later, Rockbridge drew even on a goal by Leah Ball and the Cougars were never able to regain the lead or the momentum.
“When they tied the game right away I think we started to get down on ourselves,” Ehrmantraut said. “Then when Kira [Shoup] got hurt, we lost a lot of confidence in being able to come back. It definitely wasn’t the way we wanted our season to end.”
Calverton and Rockbridge went into the intermission still knotted at one apiece, but the Cougars were outplayed over
the last 25 minutes of the first half and that carried over into the second. Rockbridge (9-1-1) added two goals from Claire Mackes and another from Katy Mole in the second half and the Cougars were unable to get on the board again.
In the postgame celebration that followed, Shoup and Kara Mole were selected as MISAL co-Most Valuable Players. While Mole strolled casually across the field with her teammates brandishing the larger trophy and a plaque for being co-MVP, Shoup hobbled across the field on crutches after being injured in the second half.
“We had a good season, but we wanted to win the championship,” Shoup said, occasionally wiping tears from her face. “We
started out well, but we didn’t finish the way we wanted.”
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Kara Mole said of her co-MVP award. “They all worked so hard and we worked so well together. I don’t know where I am headed next year, but I am going to miss all of them.”
Then in the MISAL boys final that immediately followed, Takoma Academy (7-0-2) of Montgomery County got an early goal just over 10 minutes into the contest against Calverton (9-4-2) on a header by Stefon Loury off a throw-in from Darwin Rodriguez, then at a similar point in the second half Rodriguez scored from 20 yards out on a free kick for a 2-0 Takoma lead.
Calverton had numerous good scoring chances in the second half and finally got on the board when the Cougars were awarded a penalty kick for a handball in the box. Calverton sophomore Maxwell Skinner delivered with a hard, low shot into the left corner of the net that eluded Takoma goalkeeper Caleb Daniel with 22 minutes remaining.
“This team won only four games all of last year and this year we won the regular season league title and made it to the championship game,” Calverton head coach Brian Martin said. “This is still a very young team, so they’ll be back. We played hard the whole game. Even when we were down 2-0 early in the second half, we
kept playing hard.”
Takoma third-year coach Bryan Brown had seen his team suffer a heartbreaking, 1-0 loss to Waldorf’s Grace Christian Academy in last year’s MISAL title game, so the Tigers victory on Saturday evening offered more than a hint of redemption. In addition to claiming the title, Takoma’s Henderson Rodriguez was honored as the league’s MVP.
“These guys came close to winning it all last year,” Brown said. “They came out and played hard early and took advantage of their scoring chances. I’m proud of them for finishing the season undefeated. We had a couple of ties, but we didn’t take any losses.”
Players from the Calverton School girls soccer team gather for one last cheer before the start of Saturday’s Metro Independent Schools Athletic League championship game their school hosted. Calverton scored the game’s first goal, but Rockbridge Academy responded with the next four to claim the MISAL tournament title.