I feel like I've done nothing but write about the Harford Christian boys soccer team or the Havre de Grace field hockey team in the last month's worth of these columns. That's not to say neither of those teams deserves it, especially the Harford Christian soccer squad, as it's heading into the final stretch of one of the most impressive seasons I've ever covered, but I do think there are some other teams that have put together fine campaigns, and which deserve some ink.
I hate to say it was done quietly, because that's not the case, but the C. Milton Wright field hockey team, following Wednesday's UCBAC title game win over Harford Tech, has only lost one time in its 16 matchups thus far (I'm including the conference championship and two tournament victories). What the Mustangs did do, however, was go 15-1 and win a Chesapeake (upper) Division title without scoring a ton of goals, because they hardly allowed any goals. After starting their Chesapeake Division schedule with a 5-1 win over Patterson Mill, the Mustangs moved on to beat Fallston, 1-0, then knocked off North Harford, 2-0, then topped Bel Air, 2-0. A relatively high-scoring win, 5-2, over Perryville sealed the division title for the Mustangs, who, apparently having not gotten enough drama during the regular season, beat North East, 1-0, in double overtime Tuesday to close a perfect 6-0 run against Chesapeake teams. That's a 16-3 goal differential, and four shutouts against top-quality teams, which equals a darn good regular season.
Here's something to think about: The Mustangs were in almost the same position last year, having lost just one regular-season game en route to a Chesapeake Division crown and UCBAC title, both firsts for the CMW field hockey program, but were stopped in the 3A North regional title game by Hereford, which was undefeated at the time, but eventually lost in the state title game by Atholton. Who do you think handed CMW its only loss so far in 2013? That would be Hereford, which beat the Mustangs, 1-0, in overtime on Sept. 30. So, of the three losses CMW has suffered in the last two years, two have come at the hands of Hereford. If that doesn't make for a grudge match, nothing does.
If that last sentence excited you, you can cool down now, because the grudge match isn't going to happen, at least not this year. The MPSSAA decided to move Hereford from the 3A North down to the 2A North Section I, where it will surely steamroll right over Dundalk, Lansdowne and Eastern Tech, then probably roll right past Elkton, Rising Sun or Edgewood, the teams that make up Section II, in the regional final. CMW, on the other hand, stayed in the 3A North, where the Mustangs, as part of Section I, will have to deal with either Bel Air or North Harford at some point. I'm not going to pretend to know what it's like to run a statewide scholastic athletic organization. I'm sure it's plenty tough. But, when I see things like Hereford moving down to a section that's full of non-contenders, while other Baltimore County teams stay up in the 3A, I scratch my head. Some things don't make a ton of sense to me, but I've been staring at a computer screen so long that my brain has turned to cheese, so I'm probably not the person to make that call. I just know that I don't like what I see.
I'll get down off the soapbox now so I can end of a positive note. Nice job, Mustangs. I wish you well in the playoffs.