Ousman Touray scored the game-winning goal in overtime and Wilde Lake beat C. Milton Wright, 1-0
Wilde Lake coach Trevor Shea could just feel it. He had a team of destiny.
The Wildecats overcame so much to get to the 3A state championship game, and along the way they got so many bounces and calls that they simply had too much luck on their side not to complete the journey.
They beat Reservoir in penalty kicks in the first round of the playoffs. They handed back-to-back state finalists River Hill a home loss. They overcame one-goal deficits against Huntingtown and Mt. Hebron to reach the final for the first time in 22 years.
On Saturday, No. 7 Wilde Lake stamped its place in the record books and defeated two-time defending state champions C. Milton Wright, 1-0, on a goal from junior Ousman Touray with 7 minutes, 38 seconds left in overtime to capture its first state championship since 1997 and eighth in school history.
The Wildecats are the first Howard County team to win it all since River Hill in 2014, ending the longest drought the league has had since the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association moved to four classifications in 1973.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Shea, who won three state titles as a player under his father Don Shea at Oakland Mills from 1998 to 2000, “but I think we’ve been putting all these puzzle pieces together for the last four years since we started and we knew that we could do it, and it’s pretty impressive that we were able to make it happen.”
Wilde Lake's Ousman Touray scored two goals in the final 14 minutes of regulation, lifting the Wildecats to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Mt. Hebron in the 3A state semifinals at Linganore High School on Saturday afternoon.
What Shea didn’t have planned from the start of his rebuild was Touray. A junior varsity player last year who led the team in goals by a wide margin, Touray’s development has taken Wilde Lake (15-3-1) to new heights. He entered the game with a Howard County-best 22 goals, including the game-tying strikes against Huntingtown and Mt. Hebron as well as the game-winner against the Vikings, needed just one chance win it.
“I thought I was offside but I wasn’t,” a soft-spoken Touray said. “... I was going to hit it with my left but the guy was covering me, so I had to hit it with my right. ... When I tapped it in with my right, I thought the defender — he was right there — was going to save it, but it went in, so I was surprised and I was happy so I had to take off the jersey.”
“He’s a left-footed player, so it’s impressive to have that composure and to be able to use your opposite foot to finish that goal,” Shea said. “But he’s a goal scorer.”
The ball trickled past C. Milton Wright outcoming goalkeeper Zach Hetrick and into the goal. Touray celebrated shirtless by sprinting to the student section.
It was a disappointing end to the best run in No. 5 Mustangs’ (14-5-1) program history. They controlled the game through 80 minutes by dominating possession and building play through their back line. Their best scoring opportunity came in the first 30 seconds of overtime when a shot in the six-yard box was saved by Wildecats goalkeeper Gabrial Viteri and deflected off the crossbar. Two minutes later, Touray ended it.
“Congratulations to Wilde Lake. They had an incredible season and all credit goes to them for finding the winner in extra time,” said C. Milton Wright coach Brian Tully. “I’m disappointed for our boys, not in them but for them. They had a great season. I thought we did enough creating chances, creating quality chances, but I think we left a couple out there that we normally probably find the back of the net on.”
Wilde Lake came out strong in the first 12 minutes and had a near goal in the 11th minute. Senior Kyle Eylanbekov’s corner kick was headed toward goal by senior Thomas Brinkley but cleared off the line by a defender. They went another 72 minutes without a quality chance.
“I think we scored there,” Shea said. “... All the kids thought we had scored.”
The Wildecats’ success has been contagious throughout the school. The football team has scored two straight upsets to reach the 3A state quarterfinals and the girls soccer team, coached by Trevor’s sister Megan, reached the 3A final. The baseball team in the spring had a similar run to the football squad and upset three teams to reach the region final.
“As we like to say, the lake is rising,” Shea said. “... Winning kind of breeds winning. They feel the magic. And then the fans, they see the success so they cheer more, and that’s just like the whole culture of the school, it’s changing from being one of the teams that was kind of looked down upon in the county to now being one of the top three teams every season for now.”