Mike Heitzmann continues to save his best for last with the University of Maryland men’s soccer team.
The 2015 River Hill graduate and redshirt senior this spring for the Terps delivered in the biggest moment of his career to date on Saturday afternoon, making the game-winning penalty kick to defeat Rutgers in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.
It goes down as the first game-winning goal of his collegiate career and advances Maryland to face top-seeded Indiana on Wednesday, April 14.
POLL: Each week this spring, we are letting the community help pick a Howard County boys and girls Athlete of the Week. Our staff, after consultation with coaches, will pick players from each of the fall sports and then let voting decide the rest. To participate, either vote below or click here for the boys poll and/or click here for the girls poll by 11 p.m. Tuesday.
The two teams had played to a 0-0 tie through regulation and two overtimes before going to penalty kicks. The score was tied 4-4 through five rounds of the shootout, creating a tiebreaker situation.
Maryland goalie Jamie Lowell made a save on Rutgers’ sixth shooter and then Heitzmann stepped up and delivered a laser into the middle of the net to set off a wild celebration.
Earlier this week, Heitzmann was honored as the Terps’ Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. During the regular season, he made five starts and registered a goal and an assist from his forward position.
Girls Player of Week (April 3): Sarah Kang, Glenelg field hockey
One of the county’s most versatile weapons, Kang’s role is constantly shifting depending on what her team needs in any given moment. She traditionally starts at center back this spring for the Gladiators (7-2), but has regularly pushed forward into the midfield to help provide an offensive boost.
“Sarah is just so consistent, individually skilled and reliable that we try to move her around so we can take advantage of her skills in all areas of the field,” coach Nikki Trunzo said. “If we need our passing game to pick up then we move her up to center midfield and if the defense needs support then we move her back to defense.”
The ability to play all over the field was on full display during Glenelg’s 2-1 victory over previously unbeaten River Hill on March 29. Kang scored the team’s first goal of the game and then dropped back to help the team’s defense hold the Hawks under two goals for the first time all year.
Kang, who is headed to play field hockey at Georgetown next year, has been just as valuable as a leader, Trunzo said.
“She sets the tone for us, gives us structure and is a major influence on making our games and practices flow,” she said. “You saw her influence against River Hill and then again [April 7] against Mt. Hebron. She scored our first goal to get us going and then the younger players on the team followed suit from there to help us get the win.”
Boys Player of Week (April 3): Ethan Wool-Lewis, Mt. Hebron soccer
In his first year playing up top at striker for a Vikings’ team that earned the top seed in the county championship tournament with eight straight wins, Wool-Lewis has had a nose for the goal from Day One this season.
He scored a goal and had an assist in a 2-0 win over Marriotts Ridge to open the year on March 5 and hasn’t slowed down since.
Wool-Lewis has nine goals in nine games, to go along with three assists, to rank as the leading scorer for Mt. Hebron this season. It’s a stark contrast from the 2019 campaign in which Wool-Lewis was a midfielder and didn’t finish among the team’s top 10 scorers.
“I knew he was extremely talented, we had seen that before this year, but you just never know how that is going to work having him switch positions,” coach Mike Linsenmeyer said. “My favorite quality with him, though, is the work rate, and I think that is something that allows him to be successful no matter where we put him.”
Wool-Lewis has twice scored both of his team’s goals in shutout wins — against Centennial (March 11) and Reservoir (March 30). Even in the team’s lone loss against Marriotts Ridge in the conference tournament quarterfinals, Wool-Lewis scored the Vikings’ only goal.
Linsenmeyer is quick to point out, though, that his senior’s impact goes well beyond just stats.
“He’s a great teammate, a great leader on the team and it’s never about him. And I think that isn’t always the case with your top players,” Linsenmeyer said. “Wooly does things the right way, and we are a better team because of it.”