Severna Park soars to 24th state title
There will be classes the come through Severna Park who will have chances to add to the legacy of a program that has won the more championships than any other school.
For the current group of Severna Park seniors, though, Saturday was their last chance to add to their legacy.
As a junior, Kat Esposito will have another shot. On Saturday, she helped make sure the current seniors closed their careers with a title.
Esposito’s goal on a penalty stroke with a little more than 10 minutes left in the first half stood as the winning goal, as the No. 4 Falcons defeated No. 7 Dulaney, 1-0, on Saturday in the Class 4A state final at Washington College.
Esposito wasn’t even in the game when the Falcons were awarded the stroke. Head coach Shannon Garden immediately subbed her in, and she made the most of the opportunity.
Esposito’s goal, along with a pair of timely saves in the second half by freshman goalie Charlotte Kramer, helped send the Falcons’ 10 seniors out as champions. The Falcons lost just two games and finished the year on a 14-game winning streak.
The championship is the first for the Falcons since 2015 and a state-record 24th. They ran their streak of wins in the state final to 10, with the last loss coming in 2004.
No. 12 Westminster 2, Urbana 1: The Owls (14-5) outlasted Urbana in overtime for a 2-1 victory at Washington College in the the Class 3A state championship game.
Westminster closed the season with four wins in a row to earn their 10th state title in school history, and the first since 2014. Westminster had to rally to get there, however, and when Urbana (18-2) scored first early in the second half a regroup was needed.
The Hawks held control for most of the first half, and survived being down four players for a few minutes because of a rash of green and yellow cards. They broke through 10 minutes into the second half when junior midfielder Maggie Goodwin converted a penalty stroke.
Marriotts Ridge 1, Oakdale 0: Led by freshman Maisy Clevenger’s game-winning goal and senior captains Emma Gladstein, Eloise Clevenger and Gracie Kennedy, the Mustangs defeated Oakdale, 1-0, for the program’s first state championship.
Coach Stacie Gado, who has coached the program for all 14 years of its existence, said celebrating with her players after the win was an “amazing feeling.”
No. 3 Liberty 2, Washington 1: The Lions came to Washington College for Saturday’s Class 1A final wanting to cap their undefeated season with another trophy. They had to first get past a pesky opponent in Washington High School of Somerset County, that was searching for its first state crown in 19 years.
The Lions scored a pair of goals in nifty fashion, the second coming from sophomore Caitlynn Szarko with less than 14 minutes remaining that stood as the gamewinner in Liberty’s 2-1 victory.
Liberty (18-0) held its lead despite a late flurry by Washington, which had a chance to tie things up in the final moments. The Jaguars (10-4-1) earned a penalty corner as time expired, and by rule were allowed to finish the play out.
No. 8 C. Milton Wright 1, No. 6 Hereford 0: After a 2-3-1 start, the No. 8 Mustangs found their form, and it was apparent in Saturday’s Class 3A state semifinal game against No. 6 Hereford.
Junior midfielder Garrett Tenckhoff took a feed from Evan Galant and scored from 16 yards with 18 minutes to play for a 1-0 win over the Bulls to make a return trip to the state title game.
The Mustangs (15-3-1) will meet No. 9 Wilde Lake — a 2-1 winner over No. 11 Mount Hebron in the other semifinal game — for the state championship next week at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Center. A date and time has yet to be scheduled with all the boys and girls championship games set for Thursday through Saturday.
No. 9 Wilde Lake 2, No. 11 Mount Hebron 1: Wildecats junior forward Ousman Touray rose above a crowd to head home the game-tying goal with 13:56 remaining in regulation and then converted the gamewinner 10 minutes later on a fast break to lift Wilde Lake to a 2-1 victory and the program’s first berth in the state championship game since 1997.
Wilde Lake (14-3-1) advances to face the winner of Hereford and C.M. Wright in the state finals next week at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex.
For Wildecats’ head coach Trevor Shea, who took over the varsity program at Wilde Lake in 2016 after several years coaching alongside his father Don at Oakland Mills, the run to the championship contest has been a dream come true.
Century 1, Oakdale 1 (Century wins on PKs): Century midfielder Colin Williams said he insisted all week his team would win Saturday’s Class 2A state semifinal with a penalty kick. Williams delivered on his promise as he knocked in the eighth penalty shot to beat Oakdale and send Century to the title game.
Knights goalkeeper Ethan Ricketts made Williams’ heroics possible with a diving save on the final penalty kick by Oakdale senior Emmanuel Douge.
The state title game berth is Century’s first since 2003, when the Knights captured their lone championship.
The Knights advance to the state final next week at Loyola Maryland to face either La Plata or Parkside.
Leonardtown 1, No. 7 Arundel 0: Arundel’s 1-0 loss to Leonardtown in the Class 4A state semifinals Saturday in Gaithersburg can be summed up in two words: missed opportunities.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first half on a set-piece header by Garrett Bridgwater roughly nine minutes into the match, Arundel used some heady halftime adjustments to dictate play and create a handful of quality opportunities in the final 40 minutes of action.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats (14-3-1), those attempts either sailed just wide or over the goal or were stopped adeptly by Raiders goalkeeper JR Gawel.
No. 5 Severna Park 1, Churchill 1 (SP wins 5-4 on PKs): Severna Park goalkeeper Katie Byrd made a diving stop of Natalie Leventhal’s line-drive attempt to left to send the Falcons to the 4A state championship through a 1-1 (5-4 penalty kicks) victory over the Bulldogs at Gaithersburg High.
Severna Park (15-2-2), which will play the winner of Perry Hall and Montgomery Blair for the 4A state championship, took a 1-0 lead into halftime thanks to a Sofia Espinoza goal nine minutes into the match.
Loch Raven 2, McDonough 1: Haley Gordon and Nicole DeCarlo each scored to lead the Raiders (6-8) past the Rams (6-8) in a Class 1A East state semifinal at Northeast. Loch Raven will face Patterson Mill, a 1-0 winner over Smithsburg, in the championship at Loyola Maryland University.
No. 9 Wilde Lake 1, No. 10 Chesapeake-AA 1 (WL wins 4-3 on penalty kicks): Hannah Lowry came up with a big save during the penalty kicks to preserve the win for the Wildecats (13-4-1) in a Class 3A state semifinal at Linganore. The Cougars finished 13-4-2.
Towson 14, City 6: Damone Moore passed the 1,000-yard mark and the Generals (6-4) beat the Knights (5-5) in a Class 3A North regional first round game. The victory marked the first playoff win in school history. Moore had 26 carries for 130 yards.
No. 5 Bel Air 3, No. 13 Poly 0: The Bobcats (16-1) beat the visiting Engineers (15-2) Friday in a Class 3A state quarterfinal. Scores were 25-18, 25-23, 25-7. The win sends Bel Air back to the Class 3A state semifinals for a second straight year.
Bel Air will face will face an undefeated Magruder (17-0) in a Thursday semifinal at the University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum in College Park.
Severna Park players hold the championship trophy after a 1-0 win over Dulaney in the 4A Maryland state field hockey championship game Saturday in Chestertown.