BY DEWEY FOX, firstname.lastname@example.org
11:54 PM EST, November 12, 2012
The Havre de Grace and North Harford boys soccer teams both suffered season-ending, state semifinal losses Saturday.
Havre de Grace (8-10) was whitewashed, 2-0, in the 1A semifinal by Brunswick, the 1A West champ.
Havre de Grace, which played at North County High School in Ferndale, surrendered two goals in the first half.
For the Warriors, this marked the second year in a row they were knocked from the state semifinals.
Hawks topped in 3A semis
The North Harford Hawks (15-2-1), playing in the 3A semifinal round at CCBC Essex, were dropped, 5-1, by the 3A West champ Urbana.
"I went to watch the Urbana vs. Tuscarora [3A West] regional final, so we knew a little bit about Urbana coming in," Matt Johnstone, North Harford's head coach, said. "We knew they were very skilled, and very fast up top. We thought that if we could contain some of their forwards and limit their possession time, we'd have a shot at hanging with them, but unfortunately things didn't work out the way we planned."
The game went scoreless until the 12th minute, when Urbana found the North Harford net.
Three minutes after Urbana's first tally, the Hawks suffered a major setback, as senior forward Chris Winks was sent off the field with a red card.
"That red card was really big," Johnstone said. "A team like Urbana is tough enough to handle if you've got all 11 guys out there, but if you're playing a man down, you're in trouble."
Bad turned to worse for the Hawks eight minutes after Winks' red card, as Urbana converted a penalty kick after being fouled inside the North Harford 18-yard box.
Urbana, which improved to 17-0-1 with the victory, produced a goal with one second left before the halftime whistle to go up, 3-0.
Ten minutes into the second half, North Harford was awarded an indirect kick near the left sideline, 40 yards from the Urbana goal. Kyle Six took the kick and sent a curler into the penalty box. After a wild scramble and an unsuccessful attempt to clear the ball by Urbana, North Harford's Noah Krach took possession and sent a low shot into the net, cutting the Hawks' deficit down to 3-1.
Urbana wasted no time answering the Hawks' lone tally, notching its fourth goal of the contest just 30 seconds later, then scoring one last goal with 10 minutes left.
Johnstone said that, despite the loss, he and his coaches saw the Hawks 2012 campaign as a success.
"We're very proud of how far they came this year," Johnstone said. "We finished at 15-2-1, and that's a school record for wins. This was a great season for our program, and hopefully we can come back again next year and play just as well."