Previewing the girls soccer state championship games

Girls soccer state championship games at Loyola Maryland's Ridley Athletic Complex:

No. 2 River Hill (16-2 ) vs. No. 5 Hereford (15-2-1)

What: Class 2A final

When: Wednesday, 5 p.m.

Outlook: It’s no big surprise to see defending champion River Hill back in the title game, seeking to add to the program’s state-best 11 championships. For Hereford, it’s an impressive accomplishment. After losing their top player and senior leader, Danielle Maggio, to an injury in the preseason, the Bulls regrouped, went on to win the Baltimore County championship and here they are looking to add to the program’s only state crown in 2000. Freshman forward Payton Patrick has enjoyed a sensational first season and is the focal point. The Hawks will have a big edge in experience with senior trio captains Victoria Tran, Megan Chun and Carly Wetzel looking to close out their careers with a third state title in four years.

Sparrows Point (15-2) vs. Patterson Mill (11-5-1)

What: Class 1A final

When: Friday, 5 p.m.

Outlook: The teams are meeting for the third straight year in the title game with four-time defending champion Sparrows Point getting the best of the Huskies in the past two outings. A priority for Patterson Mill will be containing All-Metro junior Julie Lynch, who has the game-winning goals in both title games. Sophomore goalkeeper Jaddah Foos anchors the Pointers’ back line with Emily Vetri the midfield glue. Defender Bethany Bruck, midfielder Marissa Lapinsky and forward Kaley Thompson are key pieces for the Huskies. Both teams have dominated in winning their four respective playoffs games to get to the final. The Pointers have outscored their opponents 26-2 while the Huskies have four shutouts and 20 goals.

Linganore (14-1-2) vs. Huntingtown (12-2 )

What: Class 3A final

When: Saturday, noon

Outlook: The only title game not featuring an area team, Linganore advanced with a 2-1 win over Bel Air while Huntingtown edged Atholton, 1-0, to reach the big game. Both teams showed mettle in their respective semifinal wins. Linganore fell behind Bel Air 1-0 midway through the first half, but got a goal from Haley Barge 30 seconds later and then Ashley Yurich scored on a penalty kick late in the first half. The Lancers defense capably protected the lead in the second half with the Bobcats pressing. Huntingtown got a considerable test against Atholton, Mia Isaac breaking through midway through the second half with the game’s only goal. The Lancers, from Frederick County, are making their third state title game in four years in a bid to claim the program’s first championship. The Hurricanes, from Calvert County, won a state title in 2011 and will be making their fourth title-game appearance.

No. 3 Broadneck (16-2-1) vs. Urbana (18-0-1)

What: Class 4A final

When: Saturday, 5 p.m.

Outlook: The Bruins will be trying to make it two state titles in three years, but it won’t be easy against an Urbana team that has been on a season-long roll. The Hawks, from Frederick County, made the jump to 4A after winning their second state title in 3A last season. Included in their unbeaten season is a 2-0 win over Broadneck in early September — one of 15 shutout wins. The Bruins, coming off a 4-0 semifinal win over Eleanor Roosevelt, have the experience, depth and confidence to come home with another title. Led by Talia Gabarra, Jenna Buto and Makenna Dean, they have scored a program-record 80 goals this season. On defense, the Bruins’ priority will be trying to contain Urbana’s one-two senior scoring punch of midfielder Caitlin Shepherd and forward Abbey Burdette.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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