Towson’s Kushal Giri and David Hutch scored second-half goals to lift the Generals (12-3) to a 2-1 victory over host Parkville (12-2) in the Class 3A North Section I boys soccer finals on Friday.
Parkville’s Tolu Daniel scored off an assist by Joshua Jankiewicz with 1:21 left in the game, but the Knights couldn’t get the equalizer against a Towson defense that has notched 11 shutouts this season.
Giri, a senior, scored the first goal with 21:38 left in the second half on a free kick from 25 yards out that curled over the Parkville wall and hit the top right corner post and caromed in.
“We were practicing that yesterday in practice,” Giri said. “When I was taking it, I knew where it was going, I was aiming for that [top corner] and it just happened to go in.”
Sophomore Hutch scored less than six minutes later after he converted a free kick from Nick Sickler.
“I just tried to touch it over the goalie,” Hutch said. “We always run onto the ball and try and touch it.”
Towson will host C. Milton Wright in the Class 3A North Region finals on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 3 p.m.
Towson’s field is turf and Parkville has grass and the Generals had difficulty adjusting in the first half.
“We wanted to play the pretty soccer and it wasn’t a pretty soccer day, it was a kick and run day and that was tough for us to adjust,” Towson coach Randy Dase said. “Parkville was out-hustling us, winning 50/50 balls and giving us everything they had. It’s great to have the win, but maybe on a different field, plays would have been executed better.”
Towson got solid midfield play from Thomas Lewis and strong runs from forward Bryce Vanik that kept the defense fresh.
That defense has allowed just five goals this season and defenders Andrew Schuck, Diego Menegatti, Sean Mathias and Sickler, along with goalie Caeden Fong, nearly had a clean sheet until Parkville freshman Daniel struck late.
“It’s a mental error at the end of the game,” Hutch said. “We needed to keep the pressure on and stay focused.”
“I got a feeling we just sort of let down,” Dase added.