A future lacrosse goalie for Towson University gave No. 6 Severna Park all it could handle on the soccer field in Friday night's Class 4A state championship game at UMBC.
Wootton's Matt Hoy had a goal and an assist in the first half, leading the Patriots to a title in their first trip to the finals with a 3-1 victory. Severna Park suffered just its second loss of the season and fell short in its bid to win a state championship for the first time since 2001.
"Wootton is a very well-coached, organized team that has 11 technical players," said Severna Park's first-year coach Ryan Parisi. "We knew they were capable of keeping the ball. We were going to try and get them on the counter because they like to push a lot of guys into the attack."
Wootton (17-1-1), of Montgomery County, wasted little time taking the lead when Hoy deftly crossed the ball to Spiros Tsakos, who took two touches and fired the ball into the top corner of the goal in the 12th minute. Severna Park eventually settled down and got the ball to its most dangerous player Daniel Kwon, who was able stretch Wootton's defense.
The Falcons (17-2) tied the game with 15:47 left in the first half when Cole Strong scored on a header from Tim Nelson. Hoy then gave Wootton a 2-1 lead when he fired a shot into the top of the goal from inside the penalty area.
"I got an alright first touch on the ball," said Hoy, who scored 26 goals this season. "I didn't know if I wanted to drive the ball across the goal and get a deflection. I took a quick peek up, and the goalie was respecting the near post, so I just swung for the fences. I like going for that near-post shot."
Wootton was effective moving the ball around UMBC's wide field and maintained possession for long stretches of the second half. The Patriots' Will Billingsley nearly provided a two-goal cushion with a full volley in the 45th minute, but Severna Park goalie Keaton Thomas made a diving stop.
"If you made one mistake, they capitalized. If they beat their man, they finished," Nelson said. "They're good players, and you can't make mistakes."
The Falcons were much more dangerous midway through the second half, but Wootton's defenders were successful in closing down any chances. The Patriots put the game away with eight minutes remaining when Urgy Eado took a pass across the penalty from Jared Nozick and pushed the ball into the empty goal.
Class 4A state championship
Wootton 3, No. 6 Severna Park 1
Goals: S-Strong; W-Tsakos, Hoy, Eado.
Assists: S-Nelson; W-Hoy, McDonnell, Nozick.
Saves: S-Thomas 6; W-Yeager 4, Romero 1.
Half: W: 2-1.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun