It took an incredible goal from the defending state champions in the closing minutes of the Class 2A final for Southern-AA to finally fall in a breakthrough season.
Moments after missing on an open net, Middletown senior forward Kelly Hohl made no mistake with a quick second chance — scoring from 16 yards with 6:56 to play to give the Knights from Frederick County a 1-0 win over Southern for their sixth state championship.
Hohl collected a ball on the left side and neatly found the upper-right corner for the game-winner.
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The Bulldogs, who played well in their first state title game, had chances in the final minute when senior Kassie Bryant set up for a free kick from 30 yards. Her first shot was blocked by the Middletown wall, and her second chance off the rebound was saved by goalie Rebecca Moore.
The Bulldogs, who got nine saves from senior goalie Maddie Mona, ended their season with a 12-6-1 mark, while Middletown finishes 15-3-1.
“I’m unbelievably proud of this team,” Southern coach Brooke Walsh said. “I told them after the game that I wasn’t any less proud of them whether we had won 1-0 or lost 1-0. In terms of the game, I thought it was pretty even. I think they may have been a little more physical than us, and they had a lot more chances in the last 15 minutes. The one goal they scored was fantastic.”