A mainstay on the field since his freshman season, Kaden Bryan has seen a steady progression during his time in the Marriotts Ridge boys soccer program.
He was a second-team All-County performer in the midfield as a freshman before blossoming into the team’s leading scorer and a first team All-County player for a Mustangs program that won the county championship last spring.
This fall, after posting 14 goals and four assists as a junior, Bryan reached even higher heights — being named the Howard County Times/Columbia Flier Fall 2021 Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
“It’s very clear for anyone who comes to the games that he’s everywhere,” Marriotts Ridge coach Quinn Khouri said. “He’s a box-to-box player. He gets up and down the field, works in the attack. He works defensively. He’s such a presence out there, it’s hard to ignore him. Coaches have come off the field constantly this year saying just how solid of a player he is, how much of an impact he makes.
“For me, the biggest thing for Kaden is his ability to play 120 yards of the field, he’s constantly involved in the play.”
However, despite the sustained success and accolades in a talented soccer county, Bryan remains humble, choosing to take the spotlight off himself. That unselfishness often showcased itself on the field as Bryan looked to create opportunities for his teammates offensively.
It also represents one of the areas where Bryan improved most from his sophomore to junior season, working off the ball to get open for teammates.
“I think my parents instilled in me since I was a little boy to never flaunt achievements to other people and always stay humble,” Bryan said.
The Mustangs’ senior night match against Reservoir encapsulated both Bryan’s impact on the game and his unselfishness. Tied with less than 10 minutes remaining, Bryan battled for the ball back in the middle of the field.
Upon regaining possession, Bryan beat his defenders and could’ve shot the ball on net. Instead of shooting from a tough angle, he fired a pass across the center to senior Michael Ott for the game-winning goal.
“That was a tough game, we were losing basically the whole game and then I scored just a few minutes before that and we had all the momentum,” Bryan said. “That was a big play. I got past the defender and crossed it to Michael, and he scored. That was a big moment for us, especially winning on senior night, it was very important.”
Despite the season not ending how the Mustangs would’ve hoped with a 3-0 loss to Mt. Hebron in the 3A Region Semifinals, Bryan’s leadership will be vital next season.
“[Kaden’s] been a big key to our growth as a team,” Khouri said. “What I’m most excited for is the younger players to get to play with him one more time. They’re very fortunate to have a player who is not only as good as Kaden is, but who works as hard as Kaden does. For him it’s about the team getting better, it’s not about him getting better. Through that he makes himself a better player, leader, role model and an example for all the players on the field.”
Mark Adja, Mt. Hebron junior. The two-year varsity starter saw time on all three levels of the field, finishing with 6 goals and 3 assists.
Eddie Aguilar, Centennial senior. Three-year varsity starter finished with 16 goals and 3 assists overall, including 13 goals in 11 regular season games for the county champions.
Aidan Edmonds, River Hill senior. Posted totals of 6 goals and 4 assists, including scoring both goals in a regular-season victory over Reservoir.
Siji Joyalemi, Glenelg junior. Finished with a team-leading 14 goals and 2 assists for a Gladiators team that made it to the state semifinals.
Cameron Grable, Centennial senior. A three-year varsity starter and two-year captain, Grable starred as a defensive midfielder for an Eagles team that allowed 8 goals in 12 regular-season games. He added 3 assists.
Chris Gunning, Reservoir senior. The holding midfielder and two-year captain kick-started the Gators attack by winning possession and pushing upfield, contributing 3 goals and 3 assists.
Jimmy Linsenmeyer, Mt. Hebron senior. From his defensive central midfield position, Linsenmeyer led the region-champion Vikings with 13 goals and 7 assists — scoring or assisting against every county team but one. He graduates as a four-time All-County player.
Liam McCaffery, Mt. Hebron senior. A four-year starter at outside and central midfielder, McCaffery contributed 4 goals and 3 assists offensively while playing large portion of games as a defensive midfielder.
Josh Martins, Atholton senior. A captain for the Raiders, Martins grew into a true leader as the season progressed on his way to finishing with overall totals of 8 goals and 5 assists for an Atholton team that won five straight between the end of the regular season and playoffs.
Antonio Paulino, River Hill senior. Paulino finished with the most points (24) for the Hawks, compiling totals of 10 goals and 4 assists.
Logan Ehart, Howard sophomore. The only sophomore to make first team All-County this fall, Ehart helped lead from the back up into the midfield for a Lions’ unit that allowed only 10 goals against with him on the field.
Lewis Hollander, Mt. Hebron senior. Hollander took the long throws and free kicks for the Vikings and posted totals of 3 goals and 6 assists from his center back position. He helped Mt. Hebron allow a county-best 10 goals against overall.
Sammy Molz, Centennial senior. A two-year captain at center back, Molz helped the Eagles post eight shutouts — including in a county-championship-clinching win over River Hill to close the regular season.
Katen Gulati, Glenelg senior. He did not allow a goal against during regulation or overtime through four playoff games to help the Gladiators win a region title. Overall, Gulati made 105 saves, recorded 7 shutouts and allowed 13 goals against.
SECOND TEAM ALL-COUNTY
Forward: Desmond Adeyemi, Wilde Lake junior; Adam Fowble, Centennial junior; Nathan Macek, Reservoir senior; Sam Santos, Oakland Mills junior.
Midfield: Eric Allen, Long Reach senior; Diego Carino, Hammond junior; Russell Minni, Glenelg junior; Jack Nelson, River Hill senior; Joe Sircus, Howard senior.
Defense: Dylan Bradford, Reservoir senior; Shea Nesbitt, Wilde Lake junior; Zachary Wu, Marriotts Ridge senior.
Goalie: Kartik Sullivan, Centennial junior.
Forward: Andrew Fritz, Centennial senior; Noah Hanson, River Hill senior; Will Tom, Howard junior.
Midfield: Jaegon Hibbitts, Glenelg senior; Luke Jantac, Marriotts Ridge senior; Walid Khokhar, Hammond senior; Riley Senisi, Centennial junior; Viktor Struck, Howard senior.
Defense: Sean Boulle, Atholton senior; Drew Fulton, Glenelg senior; Dustin Rubin, Centennial senior.
Goalie: Luke Ryerson, Howard junior.
MIAA B Conference All-Star
Alex Farquhar, Glenelg Country senior
Brennan McKneely, Glenelg Country senior
MIAA C Conference All-Star
Tate Alexander, Chapelgate senior
1. Jimmy Linsenmeyer, MH, 33 points (13 goals and 7 assists); 2. Kaden Bryan, MR, 32 (14 and 4); 3. Siji Joyalemi, G, 30 (14 and 2); 4. Eddie Aguilar, C, 29 (13 and 3); 5. Antonio Paulino, RH, 24 (10 and 4); T6. Josh Martins, A, 21 (8 and 5); T6. Jack Nelson, RH, 21 (10 and 1); 8. Sam Santos, OM, 20 (8 and 4); 9. Jacob Fato, A, 19 (7 and 5); 10. Noah Hanson, RH, 18 (6 and 6).
11. Aidan Edmonds, RH, 16 (6 and 4); T12. Mark Adja, MH, 15 (6 and 3); T12. Nathan Macek, Re, 15 (6 and 3); T12. Russell Minni, G, 15 (7 and 1); 15. Adam Fowble, C, 14 (3 and 8); 16. Desmond Adeyemi, WL, 13 (6 and 1); 17. Lewis Hollander, MH, 12 (3 and 6); 18. Liam McCaffery, MH, 11 (4 and 3); T19. Chris Gunning, Re, 9 (3 and 3); T19. Jaegon Hibbitts, G, 9 (2 and 5); T19. Will Tom, Ho, 9 (4 and 1).
*Statistics not received from all schools
Centennial* (9-1-1 county, 12-3-1 overall)
Mt. Hebron** (9-1-1, 12-2-1)
River Hill (8-3, 11-5)
Glenelg% (6-2-3, 9-3-3)
Reservoir (6-5, 7-6)
Marriotts Ridge (6-5, 7-7)
Howard (6-5, 6-7)
Atholton# (5-6, 8-7)
Oakland Mills (4-6-1, 4-9-2)
Wilde Lake (3-9, 6-10)
Long Reach (1-10, 2-11)
Hammond (0-11, 2-14)
Glenelg Country (6-7-1 MIAA B, 6-9-1 overall)
Chapelgate (2-7 MIAA C, 3-12 overall)
**3A East Region I champions
%2A West Region II champions
#3A East Region II champions