Senior goalkeeper Olivia Kipe was forced to make just two saves in the title game, a testament to a defensive unit that surrendered just two goals in the postseason.

"I wasn't worried about repeating," said Miller, who has guided Manchester Valley to both state titles. "But I never really shoot for states until we're in the regional playoffs. I felt that if we did our thing and we played competitively, things would take care of themselves."

Building a repeat

The Maverick players began building for their run during informal "open fields" summer sessions at Cape Horn Park.


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But Manchester Valley, which tied for second in the county standings with Westminster at 5-1-1 just a year after finishing 3-4, didn't look too far ahead in its quest.

"I don't think any of us thought we'd be there again," said senior midfielder Alex Carhart. "We wanted to get back, but first we focused on being county champs. We went game-by-game, and just aimed to win each one."

The Mavericks started the season the way they ended the last one, with a 5-1 win over Brunswick in the season opener. Their confidence was boosted even further by a 3-1 regular-season win over North Carroll.

"We had never even scored on them before," said Carhart. "Once we beat them, we had the feeling that we could (win another title)."

After the Mavericks finished just a game behind champion Century in a fierce county title race, it wasn't long before the Manchester Valley bus was pulling up to UMBC Stadium.

A year earlier, the girls had been in awe of the state championship site. This time, they felt the same excitement, tempered by confidence.

"Last year, the bus driver was tickled because we were all wide-eyed when we got off the bus," Warzinski said. "We were the new team, and had never been there before. This year, it was still a thrill, but a whole new game for us."

Carhart admitted that the team felt more pressure than last year, partly because they were the defending state champs. Immediately before their title-game matchup, the Railroaders' boys team had won the Class 1A state title and the Brunswick fans were getting loud.

But the early-season win over Brunswick, plus the support of the Mavericks' large and vocal fan base, built Manchester Valley's confidence.

"Our fans were so great," Warzinski said. "There was so much support, and it gave us a great feeling. It felt like the whole school was there. "

The Mavericks' resolve was tested early when Brunswick scored the game's first goal.

"That was a wake-up call," said Warzinski. "Everyone took a step back after that first goal, and realized that it wasn't going to be handed to us."

But three straight goals put Brunswick away, and sent Carhart and Warzinski out as two-time state champions. Carhart will play lacrosse at Mount St. Mary's, while Warzinski plans to attend either James Madison, Maryland or Towson.

"It's indescribable," said Warzinski, who competed in her final soccer game but will play lacrosse for the Mavericks next spring. "I would never have envisioned this in a million years.

"Just playing with these girls that I've grown up with and developing those relationships, I love every single one of them.

"Whether we won the championship two years in a row or didn't win at all, I would never trade the time that I've spent here," she said.

Miller considered the many hours that he spent coaching this group of seniors as time well-spent.

"You're not going to find nicer girls than Alex and Carlyn," he said. "All of the seniors were just good leaders and nice kids."

While Manchester Valley has earned consecutive championships, it appears that more titles could be coming. Rickabaugh will be back for her third varsity season. Also returning are several freshmen that were key contributors this year, including Desi Rill, Lizzie Colson, Jamie Rienhimer and Nicki Miller.

Rienhimer assisted on one of Rickabaugh's goals in the title game, and Colson came back from a broken wrist to score three times in the Mavericks' state semifinal victory.

They will be joined by several members of a jayvee team that went undefeated this fall.

"Our soccer program is going to be great for at least the next couple of years," Carhart said.