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Harford Tech boys soccer edged by Parkside, 1-0, in Class 2A state final

Parkside senior forward Brady Mancha scored the game’s only goal Saturday to lift the Rams past Harford Tech boys soccer, 1-0, in the Class 2A state championship game at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Cobras (11-6) had a handful of chances, but couldn’t put anything in the net.

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“We just didn’t play our best game,” Cobras coach Mike Dempsey said. “We had some opportunities early that just didn’t bounce our way, two balls that ricocheted off the post.”

Parkside (15-0-2) had the first real scoring chance four minutes into the game, but Sam Ball’s header led to an easy save for Tech keeper Andrew Wozar.

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Cobras senior Aydin Blevins countered 10 minutes later. His shot from the top of the box was deflected, but still on line before Rams goalie Tyler Janeski dove and pushed the ball away off the post.

“Things weren’t going our way today. That bounce, I wish, I wish it would have went in, but we had a few of those,” Blevins said. “We’ve got to be able to capitalize on other opportunities as well.”

Thomas Geyer’s header on net with three minutes left in the half led to one of Janeski’s six first-half saves.

Parkside answered with a high, hard shot a minute later, but Wozar rose up to make a save. The ball bounced away, but the Tech defense cleared it without any further trouble.

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Tech continued to push forward early in the second half, although play became more equal.

Aiden Warren’s corner kick seven minutes into the half was sent back out to him and his second kick found the head of Xavier Gasida, but the shot went high.

Ball, who entered with 16 of the Rams’ 35 goals, nearly had his 17th with 24 minutes left. He sent a left-footed shot from 30 yards out that glanced off the crossbar.

Parkside’s David Filart (1) throws the ball back into play after making a save in the second half. The outlet pass led to the game's only goal.
Parkside’s David Filart (1) throws the ball back into play after making a save in the second half. The outlet pass led to the game's only goal. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Sun)

Four minutes later, the game changed for good.

Warren had a free kick from the side of the penalty box, but as the ball came into the box, Parkside goalie David Filart (four saves) made a tremendous play.

Filart came off his line to snag the ball and alertly threw a pass to Mancha. He quickly sent the ball wide to teammate Luke MacDonald, who dribbled down the right side.

Nearing the box, MacDonald slid the ball back to Mancha, who rolled it into the net just inside the right post.

“What I saw was, we put a ball in the box and the keeper made a great play, came out and caught it,” Wozar said. “Was aware of where his players were on the field. They were very good at connecting passes together, one led to another.”

Wozar (seven saves) said he knew the shot was going in, but the goal scorer wasn’t so sure.

“I thought I hit it wide and I was freaking out, kind of,” Mancha said.

Tech had a few slim chances to get an equalizer, with the best coming in the final two minutes on a corner kick. Gasida had another header, but it sailed high.

“Couldn’t be prouder of these guys, the way they battled this year,” Dempsey said. “Nobody expected us to be here and very, very proud of these guys and how hard they worked.”

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