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For the first 66 minutes of Saturday’s 3A state semifinal match-up, Mt. Hebron had executed its game plan to shut down Wilde Lake’s leading scorer Ousman Touray to perfection.

The Vikings’ defense had limited Touray’s space in the box throughout the first half and much of the second at Linganore High School, swarming him on set plays and doubling every time he touched the ball. The shots he did manage were heavily contested and Mt. Hebron was effectively holding the lead it had built in the first four minutes of the contest.

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Finishing the job, however, proved to simply be too tall of a task.

The Wildecats’ junior forward rose above a crowd to head home the game-tying goal with 13:56 remaining in regulation and then converted the game-winner 10 minutes later on a fast break to lift Wilde Lake to a 2-1 victory and the program’s first berth in the state championship game since 1997.

“The whole game I basically had three people on me, but I listened to my coach who always says just keep playing until the end no matter what … just keep fighting and the goals are going to come,” said Touray, who has now scored a county-best 22 goals this fall. “We got the first goal and then we just had all the confidence to keep going.”

Tyriq Umrani scored on a penalty kick in the 93rd minute to lead the Wildecats to a 2-1 victory in Columbia on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.

Wilde Lake (14-3-1) advances to face the winner of Hereford and C.M. Wright in the state finals next week at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

For Wildecats’ head coach Trevor Shea, who took over the varsity program at Wilde Lake in 2016 after several years coaching alongside his father Don at Oakland Mills, the run to the championship contest has been a dream come true.

“This is everything we have been building toward and when I left Oakland Mills, this was the goal to get right here,” Shea said. “The way we’ve done it, having to overcome so much adversity, it’s just that much more special.”

Wilde Lake wins its first region title since 1998 with a 2-1 win against River Hill in Clarksville on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019.

While Wilde Lake’s play down the stretch ultimately decided the outcome of the game, it was Mt. Hebron (9-7-3) that spent the majority of the afternoon in control.

The Vikings, who came in riding a six-game winning streak after starting the season 3-6-3, wasted no time gaining the upper hand in the state semifinal contest. In the fourth minute, Gabe Bonilla flicked a header to Daniel Tobar, who slotted the ball into the right corner of the net for a 1-0 advantage.

“It was a set play, where we were able to lock them in and then Tobar made a really good shot. It’s something we work on a lot and getting an early lead was obviously big,” Mt. Hebron coach Mike Linsenmeyer said.

Wilde Lake had a prime opportunity to pull right back even in the 10th minute when a foul in the box gave Tyriq Umrani a penalty kick. His shot, however, was stopped by lunging Mt. Hebron goalie Justin Carguilo and the Vikings stayed in front.

Carguilo stood tall all afternoon, making nine saves overall and several of them came in heavy traffic.

But Wilde Lake was relentless and finally found a way late in the second half to solve the Vikings’ backline, which was missing one of its leaders in Nandu Saravanan after he went out with an injury just minutes earlier.

On the equalizer, Ethan Shulgold headed the ball backwards toward the box and then Touray beat two defenders and Carguilo to the spot in order to head it in.

“I heard the keeper call it, so I knew he was coming out … so there was only one thing to do and that was to try and flick it over him,” Touray said.

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Wilde Lake never slowed down after that, getting the game-winning score on a counter attack with 3:42 remaining. This time it was Joebel Gray tracking down a lead pass on the right wing and feeding a streaking Touray, who slipped it under Carguilo as he came off his goal line.

“Sometimes our best ball is to just get it forward and allow those two to get out, run and create. It was just a great lead pass and then they did the rest,” Shea said. “Those two, when they can get in space and play off one another, are unbelievable.”

Linsenmeyer said afterward that sometimes great players just find ways to make plays.

“We talked about being aware of where he was at all times and keeping him off his left as much as possible, and for the most part we did a great job of that. But when it came down to it, he showed why he’s a great player,” Linsenmeyer said. “He made a great play when they needed it and they made us pay for not playing for a complete 80 minutes.”

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