12:39 PM EDT, October 23, 2012
Quality boys and girls soccer will be played throughout the area with county championship games set in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties tonight. Here's a glance at the matchups.
Anne Arundel Co.
North County hosts the Anne Arundel County championships with the boys game at 5 p.m. -- No. 6 Severna Park (14-0) vs. No. 12 North County (11-2-1) -- followed by the girls at 7 p.m. -- No. 3 Arundel (14-0) vs. No. 4 South River (12-2).
In the boys game, the Falcons will look to continue their perfect season, but will find the going tough against surprise North County. During the regular season, Severna Park came away with a 2-1 win over the Knights on Sept. 27.
Both teams have dynamic offenses. The Falcons are led by forwards Daniel Kwon (16 goals, six assists) and Kyle Albach (13 goals, two assists). In a 1-0 win at South River to close out the regular season Thursday, Albach received a nifty through ball from Kwon with under two minutes to play in the second half to clinch the Falcons' perfect regular season.
The Knights have been one of the area's biggest surprises, enjoying their finest season in decades. Gregg Hauck (15 goals, seven assists) is the team's catalyst with an ability to score, while defender Logan Engle is a steadying influence in back and will play a big role in trying to contain the Falcons' gifted forward combination.
On the girls side, Arundel and South River played a classic last Tuesday, the game decided in the second overtime when midfielder Clarissa Kirsch-Downs scored with six minutes left to give the Wildcats a 1-0 win.
Both teams effectively get the ball up the field with balanced offenses. Kirsch-Downs has been a regular finisher for the Wildcats, while senior Kacie Longo is a constant threat for the Seahawks.
Franklin hosts the doubleheader in Baltimore County with the boys game set for 5 p.m. -- No. 10 Catonsville (10-1-2) vs. No. 11 Perry Hall (8-3-3) -- followed by the girls at 7 p.m. -- No. 7 Eastern Tech (11-0-2) vs. No. 9 Perry Hall (9-2-2).
In the boys game, balance has been the key to Perry Hall's fine season with Rob Allman, James Canoles and Nicky Jones all capable finishers and Justin Ornelas a solid two-way player at midfield.
Defending Baltimore County champ Catonsville will be without its top player in Jose Moran, who was lost for the season with a foot injury. The Comets feature a tidy defense led by goalie Kevin Sheppard, and Emmanuel Amihere has picked up much of the scoring void left by Moran.
Catonsville edged Perry Hall, 2-1, during the regular season.
In the girls game, Perry Hall hopes to get off to a fast start -- one of its keys all season -- but the Mavericks won't make it easy.
The Gators are young with junior forward Sofia Perzan leading a balanced offense, junior Melanie Garrison and sophomore Elizabeth Fitch anchoring the midfield and junior defender Kara Taylor sturdy in back.
The Mavericks have been on a season-long mission after failing to win their region last year for only the second time in the previous 12 years. Strong team play has been the key this season with Brandie Bryant leading the offense and Meghan Miller a stalwart in the back.
Both teams have fine goalies with senior Emily Shandruk providing strong leadership for the Gators and sophomore Ryan Jones proving stingy for the Mavericks.
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